Tennis elbow, otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis, can be a highly painful motion-based condition that – when untreated – can provide a wealth of problems later on in life. But, what does the condition actually concern – and how do you know you are suffering from it? Moreover, how can acupuncture for tennis elbow help you to recover from ongoing pain?
What is tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow, despite the name, is not a purely sports-related condition. It concerns the straining of elbow tendons, which can occur through repetitive strain. Tennis elbow occurs along the outside of the joint, whereas golfer’s elbow – a similar condition – occurs on the inside.
You don’t have to actually play tennis to experience this condition. It can just as easily occur at work, such as through manual labor or if you perform heavy lifting on a regular basis.
However, it can also arise if you play sports or exercise and fail to adopt the correct form. In particular, you may find that this type of strain arises if you are dependent on backhand swings.
What’s more, you may also develop tennis elbow if you type for long periods, wring your hands excessively, or if you simply lack strength in your forearms. It is entirely possible to develop tennis elbow from a desk job!
What happens if tennis elbow goes untreated?
Tennis elbow can become extremely painful if left untreated, even for a short period. Over time, your tendons and muscles can inflame and tear around your elbow, leaving it near impossible to perform specific tasks (or, indeed, play tennis or other racket sports).
If left completely untreated, tennis elbow can lead to long-term injury that may require surgery. Failure to seek treatment for the condition may – if you actively train or play sports – result in a permanent inability to continue.
Short-term treatment for tennis elbow can include intensive courses of pain medications. Providing you rest your elbow, too, the condition may lessen over several months – though this can take even years to remedy on its own.
It is advisable to consider acupuncture for tennis elbow to help relieve both your ongoing symptoms and to help you regain flexibility and function in your tendons.
Why is acupuncture for tennis elbow recommended?
Acupuncture for tennis elbow can, with patience and rest, help to speed up your recovery – and can help to provide instant relief from daily aches and pains.
Regular acupuncture for elbow strains will ensure that your body carefully recovers and rebuilds strength. During this time, it is important that your elbow tissue and surrounding muscles repair, too – meaning that even if acupuncture sessions take the pain away from the affected area, you will still need to avoid excessive use of your arms during rehabilitation.
Acupuncture can help to increase blood flow towards areas of the body targeted during treatment. This can help to speed up the rate of recovery as well as reduce pain. Moreover, acupuncture sessions can help reduce inflammation, therefore further working to lessen pain during recovery.
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?
Tennis elbow takes the form of burning pain, and excessive stiffness, towards the outside of your elbow joints. This pain can increase rapidly, and may even start to radiate down your arms and into your wrists. In fact, some people may confuse wrist stiffness and tingling with carpal tunnel syndrome – a different condition.
Tennis elbow can also take the shape of weakness in arm movement and grip, or increasing pain when you attempt to grip objects. Therefore, the condition can effectively prevent you from playing racket sports until you recover.
The main distinction between tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, as mentioned, is pain and strain location. If you are experiencing inner elbow pain, you may need to seek acupuncture for golfer’s elbow instead. Don’t worry, however – as acupuncture for both conditions will help to reduce pain and stiffness.
How long does acupuncture take for tennis elbow?
Acupuncture courses for tennis elbow will vary in terms of length and frequency. The length of recommended treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and consideration for lifestyle choices and daily activities.
An acupuncture specialist will ask several questions to ensure that you receive the most efficient and effective treatment plan to recover from tennis elbow. In some cases, treatment may take a few months, providing you ensure that you rest your injury in between sessions. If you don’t rest your elbow between acupuncture consultations – you can still expect a lot of waiting around!
Your acupuncturist may recommend frequent clinic visits depending on your strength and lifestyle. For example, tennis elbow treatment plans may look markedly different compared between practicing athletes and occasional tennis players.
Acupuncture treatments for tennis elbow can, however, help speed up the healing process and reduce pain. Therefore, it is certainly recommended that you book a treatment session to analyze your condition as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may find it is months – even years – before you can safely pick up a racket again, with or without pain medication.
Book an appointment today
At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we care deeply about ensuring all our visitors regain the flexibility and function they demand for work, rest and play. Tennis elbow, while a common condition we cater for in our clinic, is understandably painful – and therefore, we ensure to offer a tailored treatment plan from your first visit onwards.
Tennis elbow can not only be debilitating in the short-term – it could strike down your career, or playing ability, in the long run. That is, of course, unless you take the time to seek treatment and allow your injury to heal!
It’s never wise to ignore elbow strains and tears. If you’ve never considered acupuncture before, let our expert team show you how much of a difference regular treatment could make.