The Science Behind Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow: How It Works

acupuncture for tennis elbow kitchener

Tennis elbow is first and foremost an overload injury. This means that the tendons of our forearm muscles that start at our elbow, which help us to lift and grip objects, are being overworked. Acupuncture can be a great way to supplement your physiotherapy exercises and bring you some pain relief. 

What Is the Fastest Way To Cure Tennis Elbow?

The most optimal recovery from tennis elbow is to utilize load management, exercise, manual therapy, and modalities, such as acupuncture. Tennis elbow is first and foremost an overload injury. This means that the tendons of our forearm muscles that start at our elbow, which help us to lift and grip objects, are being overworked. This is why together with your physiotherapist you will devise a plan as to how to offload these tendons. 

This might look like a reduction or modification to your daily activities, as well as wearing a tennis elbow brace. In addition, we want to improve how much our forearm tendons can work. We do this with exercises that work the forearm at the appropriate intensity but also give them appropriate rest time to recover and get stronger. Lastly, modalities such as acupuncture can be a useful tool to manage pain levels with tennis elbow.

Can Tennis Elbow Be Treated With Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a great treatment tool for tennis elbow. Acupuncture is where sterilized, single-use needles are placed at different points on the body called acupuncture points. It can bring our body’s awareness to that area, and in doing so, help with pain management. 

It does this by exciting local nerves, muscles, and connective tissue, which may alter or prevent pain signalling locally, at the level of the spine, and in the brain by stimulating our body’s natural painkillers (opioid peptides). While Acupuncture in Kitchener is a great adjunct to all the strategies we utilize in physio, it is important to keep in mind that acupuncture alone may not resolve your tennis elbow.

What Is the Best Acupuncture Point for Tennis Elbow?

Ancient Chinese Medicine describes energy pathways running through our bodies called “Meridians”. The energy pathway called the Liver Meridian is the most commonly used for treating tennis elbow. Part of the Liver meridian runs right over the area of pain in the tennis elbow – these points are called Liver 10, 11, and 12. 

Additionally, Liver 3, which is a point in the web space between your thumb and index finger, is also commonly used to treat tennis elbow. This is because it is said to be the strongest point in the upper body and creates a greater response from the body.

What Is the Success Rate of Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow?

There is literature to suggest that acupuncture for tennis elbow has equal or better pain reduction effects as compared to other forms of pain management such as pain medication. However, it is important to keep in mind that it should not be the only tool utilized in your treatment plan.

How Can I Increase Blood Flow to My Tennis Elbow?

Acupuncture can increase blood flow to your elbow. This is why some people may experience what is called erythema – this is where you see redness forming around the site of the needles. This redness is blood flow in response to the acupuncture needle.

How Long Does It Take for Acupuncture To Work for Tendonitis?

Many individuals will experience pain relief during or after the first treatment but some may need 2-3 appointments to start noticing its benefits.

Key Takeaways

The time to take control of your health is now! Every day that you wait is another day that your elbow continues to experience pain. At Strive Physiotherapy & Performance, we’re here to help you turn things around and achieve the results you’ve been looking for. Book your appointment today and let’s get started.

We can help you with a wide range of common conditions including neck pain, sports injuries and shoulder pain to name a few.

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