Have you ever experienced soreness and pain on the outside of your elbow after playing tennis or other sports? Maybe after a workout or after working long days at the office? You may be suffering with Tennis Elbow. Interestingly enough, you don't have to play tennis to have this affliction. So, what exactly is tennis elbow, and what can you do about it?
In tennis elbow, technically known as lateral epicondylitis, the tendons which attach the muscles on the top of your forearm to your elbow at the lateral epicondyle (a bump on your humerus bone at the site near where your elbow bends) experience microscopic tears which cause irritation and inflammation, which leads to pain. These tiny tears are often the result of overuse and sporting activities. So, what can you do about it???
You have a variety of options to use to treat this condition. You may choose to rest and ice the area, which will help reduce inflammation. You may also choose to consult your physician who may suggest medications, which as you know come with risks. There are braces that can be used to reduce the load placed on the tendon attachment so you can perform activities with less pain, OR you may seek out the aid of a chiropractor, therapist and/or acupuncturist.
A chiropractor or therapist will usually perform muscle therapy including stretching and massage of the muscles around the elbow as well as give you exercises and make recommendations to help you avoid re-injury. A chiropractor will also likely adjust your spine and possibly the joints of the elbow and wrist.
Acupuncture has been shown to be superior to placebo for the treatment of lateral epicondylitis, resulting in reduced pain and increased function. Acupuncture treatment will include using acupuncture points in the area of pain as well as additional regional and distant points to aid the healing of the damaged tissue.
At our office, chiropractic, acupuncture and exercise therapy are all a part of the healing process we practice for tennis elbow and many other conditions.
To read more about Acupuncture for the treatment of Tennis Elbow see this Journal Article.
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