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One of the most common injuries incurred by athletes is epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow. This is an acute inflammation of the tendons and muscles of the forearm caused by a continuous rotation of it or repeated twisting of the wrist. Tennis elbow can lead to a weakened grip, damage to the tendons that connect to the bone of the upper arm, and elbow pain. When traditional treatment of tennis elbow such as medication, heat, physical therapy and braces fails to do much more than temporarily alleviate pain, doctors recommend acupuncture or dry needling. The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in San Francisco Research presented their research from a pilot study at an annual meeting and suggested that acupuncture appears to prevent the condition of tennis elbow from occurring, not just relieve the symptoms of it. Dr. Peter Dorsher is certified in acupuncture and performed acupuncture on 22 patients dealing with varying degrees of tennis elbow. He used “round” needles and treated each patient with French meridian therapy. Dr. Dorsher inserted the needles in tight myofascial bands at local points on the elbow. Every patient stated a disappearance of their symptoms. A follow-up was conducted with each of the 22 patients several months after receiving acupuncture. 17 out of the 22 patients experienced a resolution of their symptoms and had returned to normal activities. Nearly every patient who took part in the study had previously tried curing their tennis elbow through conventional means. 17 out of 22 had tried using an elbow brace or splint and seven had received corticosteroid injections for pain relief. One patient even had elbow surgery before turning to acupuncture. Acupuncture needles seem to loosen the muscles immediately around the elbow joint making it one of the best therapies for tennis elbow.

References: Dorsher PT. Treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis with acupuncture: a pilot study. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, San Francisco, CA, November 4, 2000.


Tennis Elbow and Acupuncture

Tennis elbow can lead to a weakened grip, damage to the tendons that connect to the bone of the upper arm, and elbow pain…