Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury that is often seen at Authentic Acupuncture clinic in Balmain. Tennis Elbow refers to inflammation of the tendon on the lateral side of the elbow.  It is a common sports injury and it is of no surprise that  Tennis Elbow get’s it’s name from the rather increased prevalence in Tennis players.  However, any repetitive stress such as holding a particular tool  can transmit to the forearm muscles and then transfer the inflammatory stress to the tendon at the lateral side of the tendon on the elbow.

How did I get this, what are the risk factors? Lack of strength in the shoulders can sometimes result in over compensation and overuse in the muscles of the forearm.  It is often seen more commonly in the over 40 age group because,  as we age, our ability to heal get’s slower.  Inflammation can build up when the stress applied to the tendons and muscles of the arm is too much or has insufficient time to recover and instead of the body being able to adapt and get stronger, injury results.

What are the symptoms? 

The symptoms of Tennis Elbow often come on gradually. There is pain at the outer elbow. You might find that pain gets worse when the wrist is involved in such movements as shaking hands, trying to open a jar or opening the door.

What does conventional care, rehabilitation and recovery time look like? Your Doctor may conduct a physical examination to confirm Tennis Elbow as a diagnosis. X rays and or Ultrasound may also be conducted to further confirm diagnosis and or rule out other conditions such as rheumatic arthritis, a trapped nerve or referred pain from the neck.

Initial treatment with your Doctor may involve the use of anti inflammatory medication. If these fail to alleviate, steroid injection are sometimes used. It is often not advised to have more than a couple of steroid injections, particularly if they are ineffective, as it is thought that this medication may weaken the tendon. Failing the steroid injections, surgery may be considered. 

Rehabilitation can often involve a strengthening program for the entire arm with particular attention paid to the tendon inserting into the lateral elbow. One such exercise can involve twisting a towel forwards and backwards.

Recovery time can vary anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years. In mild cases, with treatment and a sufficient strengthening program, return to pre injury activities may be relatively soon if there is no pain and return of range of motion. If surgery is required, it may take a few months to return to regular activities. In either case, return to activities should be gradual.

Can I use Acupuncture instead of or in conjunction with conventional treatment to speed up the healing process and see results?

At Authentic Acupuncture clinic in Balmain (Suburb in Sydney’s Inner West), some clients choose to take Acupuncture as their primary treatment or as an assistant to conventional treatment. The aim of Acupuncture is to relieve pain and inflammation and restore regular function to the elbow. Acupuncture see’s pain as a ‘blockage’ that is treated by inserting fine sterile needles along the circuits of the body that pass through the areas of pain. These circuits, called meridians, can be treated at specific ‘acupuncture points’ above and below the area of pain with the aim to stimulate healing, according to Chinese Medicine theory. As such, the painful site can be avoided by direct treatment, which is often a relief to clients who may be already apprehensive about the injured area. Consider Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain. With over 20 years experience and one on one individualized treatment with the same practitioner, every time, what do you have to lose? Call us on (02) 9188 1560 or go to the ‘Book an appointment’ page on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

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