Treatment for Tennis Elbow at Lok Acupuncture in Las Vegas
The term, “tennis elbow”, refers to the painful inflammation of tendons that connect forearm muscles at the lateral epicondyle (outside of the elbow), but it has little to do with playing tennis. Instead, tennis elbow, is a result of damage to the tendons and forearm muscles from the repetition of similar, strenuous motion. Overuse of muscles in the hands and fingers can also cause tennis elbow pain and stiffness.
7 Classic Symptoms of Tennis Elbow
- Outer elbow pain and tenderness on the lateral epicondyle
- Pain when gripping or lifting objects
- Pain when extending wrist muscles (ex. pouring something from a heavy container or sweeping with a broom)
- Morning stiffness in the elbow, wrist and/or hand
- Pain that radiates from the elbow to the wrist and forearm
- Forearm weakness
- Inability to hold heavy objects with the affected hand
Tennis Elbow Treatment in Las Vegas
Traditional tennis elbow treatment includes topical anti-inflammatory or pain relief creams, cortisone injections or physical therapy. Applying ice, taking NSAIDS and resting the affected arm are also common forms of self-treatment. However, it may take weeks for these treatments to relieve tennis elbow pain and for the injured muscles and tendons to fully recover. If the same repetitive and strenuous activities are resumed before the muscles and tendons have completely healed, it may result in worsening pain and stiffness.
Alternative Pain Relief for Sports Injuries
Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that provides quicker and deeper pain relief for injuries such as tennis elbow because it addresses the root causes. By stimulating muscle and tendon nerves so that neurohumoral factors such as endorphins are released, acupuncture naturally relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Acupuncture also increases levels of adenosine, a chemical that interferes with signaling of pain receptors, so that the brain cannot receive “feelings” of pain. Muscle stiffness is also relieved through acupuncture because it promotes the flow of oxygenated blood. Most importantly, inflammation of the lateral epicondyle muscle is significantly minimized by encouraging the release of immunomodulatory factors that naturally expedite healing of damaged muscles and tendons.
How is Acupuncture Performed for Tennis Elbow?
As one of your Las Vegas acupuncture therapy options, the Lok Acupuncture Clinic will guide you through your tennis elbow treatment. As you are lying comfortably on a table, we will gently insert hair-thin needles into specific points on the body called acupuncture points. After inserting the necessary number of needles into acupuncture points (typically between five and 15 needles), we will carefully twirl or move each needle to stimulate the release of healing factors and blood flow to damaged muscles. After approximately 15-20 minutes, we will remove the needles and ask how you are feeling.
Depending on how long you have been experiencing pain, we may recommend complementing acupuncture with another traditional Chinese medicine called “cupping” or suggest electro-acupuncture therapy.