Tennis elbow is one of the most frequent injuries suffered by professional athletes as well as weekend warriors. Otherwise know as epicondylitis, it is an inflammation of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. Repeated rotation of the forearm or twisting of the wrist causes it, and can lead to elbow pain, a weakened grip, and damage to tendons that connect to the humorous.
Western medical treatment includes using medications, braces, and physical therapy, which may relieve the pain but does very little to prevent this condition from reoccurring. Research presented at the American Academy of Physical Medicine suggests that acupuncture not only relieves the pain of tennis elbow, that it resolves the condition completely.
Dr. Peter Dorsher performed acupuncture on 22 patients with varying degrees of tennis elbow. Each patient was treated 2-10 times. After an average of 4 treatments, a “maximal response” was attained and every patient reported a disappearance of their symptoms. This response lasted much longer than in patients using medication (painkillers) or braces. At an average follow up time of 8.5 months after receiving acupuncture, 17 patients (77.3%) experienced a disappearance of their symptoms and returned to full, normal activities.
Many of the patients had endured months of pain before deciding to use acupuncture. Patients in the study suffered symptoms an average of eight months. Six patients experienced symptoms for more than two years. Nearly every patient had attempted to cure his or her tennis elbow through conventional means. Some patients had tried multiple modalities without success. Dr. Dorsher said, “This is an extremely powerful tool for pain.”
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