Lateral Epicondylitis A.K.A Tennis Elbow
You don’t need to play tennis to develop this over-use injury
Lateral Epicondylitis (more commonly known as Tennis Elbow) is an inflammation of the tendons on the lateral (outside) part of your elbow. Pain on the medial (inside) part of your elbow is another condition known as Medial Epicondylitis (a.k.a Golfer’s Elbow) and shares a lot of similarities with Tennis Elbow. Aside from affecting different tendons the treatment and outcomes are very similar for both conditions.
Tennis elbow is a Repetitive Strain Injury which means that it gradually develops over time due to overuse. The main action that causes Tennis Elbow is gripping (usually between the thumb and first 2 fingers). For this reason, you don’t need to have played tennis to develop tennis elbow – any repetitive gripping motions will cause inflammation and microscopic tears in the tendons resulting in pain. Tennis elbow is most commonly caused by: racket sports (tennis, squash), weightlifting, carpentry, raking, typing or knitting.
The good news is that Tennis Elbow responds very well to treatment. You should notice significant improvement within the first few sessions. Treatment includes regular acupuncture sessions to help reduce inflammation, promote proper muscle nutrition, decrease pain and enhance neural reactivity in the local tissues. Additional interventions such as electro-acupuncture or heat therapy may also be used depending on your response. Of course, treatment success will be even quicker depending on what you do outside of the therapy session. An at-home protocol of ice and stretching and strengthening exercises will significantly improve recovery time as well as preventing this issue from occurring again. After the initial assessment your practitioner may prescribe a home exercise program for you to follow.