Acupuncture for tennis elbow, at the Mayo Clinic, has been shown to provide complete relief for 80% of the patients. This is good news for patients who continue to experience the debilitating pain despite having been prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections.
Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, occurs when one overuses his or her arm through repetitive movement or after carrying heavy objects. The tendons in the elbow joint connecting to the upper arm become damaged and inflamed. Pain can travel down the forearm. Even lifting or grasping lightweight object can cause severe discomfort.
Previously, the conventional treatment options such as braces, heat, physiotherapy, medication and painkillers only attempt to relieve the pain. They do not tackle the problem of damaged tendons. Surgery can resolve the issue. But surgery is not for everyone as it is invasive.
On the other hand, acupuncture is a non-invasive tennis elbow treatment. What's more, at the Mayo Clinic, acupuncture appears to resolve the issue completely after approximately four sessions with the use of rounded acupuncture needles, which penetrate the skin and muscle at the acupoints with the least damage. The acupoints are found at the energy meridiens.
How does acupuncture solve the problem? Practitioners believe that this approximately three thousand-year-old healing method relieves pain and solves the problem by unblocking the Qi energy and blood flow to the affected area. The pain occurred as a result of blockages of energy and bloodflow. This treatment is very effective, with 77% of patients being able to return fully to their normal activities. Improved blood flow to the affected area nourishes the damaged tissue, promoting healing and relieving inflammation.
If you suffer from tennis elbow and would like to use acupuncture, what can you expect during the treatment? Here are some information and tips for your reference:
- Tennis Elbow Treatment Plan Be sure to do your research and see only a certified and experienced acupuncturist. He or she will ask you about your health history. The acupuncturist will check your pulse, examine your tongue's shape, color and coating. Based on your health situation and needs, your acupuncturist will recommend a custom tennis tennis elbow treatment plan for you.
- Undergoing treatment The treatment is not painful. Approximately six fine needles will be used. The acupuncturist will gently insert the needles 10 to 15 millimetres into your muscle around the elbow region. One needle will also be inserted near your thumb. The needles are retained up to 30 minutes. You will generally feel better even after just the first session.
- Number of sessions required The frequency and number of sessions needed will differ from person to person. As mentioned earlier, most patients have their tennis elbow problem resolved after an average of four treatments. Your acupuncturist will discuss the frequency and number of treatments when he or she recommends a treatment plan for you.
- Cost Each session costs approximately a hundred dollars. Acupuncture is covered by some health insurance plans, but not all.
- Side effects Serious side effects are rare. However, infection, swelling and scarring may occur. To minimise the occurrence of side effects, be sure to consult a certified and experienced practitioner.