Tennis elbow is one of the most common overuse injuries and one of the most common sporting injuries in the upper body. It refers to an inflammation of the forearm of the tendon of the forearm extensor muscles which insert to the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is caused by repetitive stress to forearm muscles transmitting the forces to the tendon inserting to the outer side of the elbow.

What are the risk factors and who is particularly at risk? One of the main risk factors is the level of strength and conditioning absent leaving the elbow vulnerable. In particular, lack of strength and flexibility in the shoulder. Weakness in the shoulder can affect the athletes technique which in turn can lead to tennis elbow. Primarily racket sports players and gofers are at particular risk or jobs that require repetitive motions of the arm and wrist such as carpenters, plumbers, carpenters and cooks.

What are the symptoms, concerns and what can I do about it? The onset of symptoms can be gradual with pain occurring on the lateral (outside) elbow. If the wrist is rotated against resistance such as shaking hands or unscrewing a jar, pain can increase. The concerns would be that tennis elbow needs to be addressed early to prevent scar tissue building up around the tendon making the problem more difficult to resolve. The area where tennis elbow occurs heals poorly in general due to poor blood supply making early treatment all the more important. The best thing you can do is stop the activity that caused or aggravates the condition until the pain goes away as well as seeking acupuncture and soft tissue therapy.

What does conventional treatment, rehabilitation and recovery look like? Your G.P may suggest scans to confirm the diagnosis to rule out other causes of pain such as a fracture or loose body in the joint. Surgery is rarely required and often your G.P will suggest therapies such as physio and acupuncture along with anti inflammatory medication and or local steroid injection. Rehabilitation should include exercises not only for the elbow but also for the entire arm, including the shoulder. How long the recovery takes depends on the severity of the condition and it’s response to treatment. For example, anti inflammatory medication and or steroid injections may be insufficient to resolve the condition and some patients may be averse to contending with possible side effects. In such conditions, the time frame for healing could be anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple of years. A combination of therapies as is used at Authentic Acupuncture in Balmain, in Sydney’s Inner West, includes acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation and infra red laser therapy to speed up the possibility of healing and a quick recovery.

Acupuncture sometimes needles the area of the pain, but best results are often obtained by needling along pathways distant from the injured site.

How does acupuncture and Chinese medicine effectively treat tennis elbow? Brendan C. Meek, Senior Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioner at Authentic Acupuncture clinic in Balmain, has been treating pain conditions effectively with natural solutions for over 20 years. From Olympic athletes to coffee barista’s, office workers, weekend warriors and trades people have all benefited from Brendan’s years of experience in successful outcomes for pain relief and recovery from tennis elbow. Brendan combines techniques from acupuncture, soft tissue manipulation, infra red laser therapy and Chinese medicine (as needed) to provide excellent outcomes.

Excellent outcomes come from assessing the client and providing individually tailored treatments rather than a generic one size fits all approach. When practitioners can make an influence on other body systems that may be impacting the clients recovery from tennis elbow, such as poor sleep, digestion, hormonal imbalance and stress, better longer lasting results can be achieved. As such, besides using effective acupuncture points for the elbow, other points may be used to help return other body systems previously mentioned, return back to normal so that the body can totally focus on relieving pain, injury and inflammation.

If you’re looking for ‘acupuncture near me’ in Balmain or the Inner West, call Authentic Acupuncture on (02) 9188 1560 or send an inquiry by visiting the home page.

We look forward to helping you restore your elbow back to it’s former use and helping to enhance your general health in the process.

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