Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow

March 2001

Tennis elbow is often seen in those who use arms frequently or do heavy manual work. For instance, tennis players, laborers. It often occurs in the right arm in middle age.

Tennis elbow manifests itself in pain of the lateral side of the elbow. There is a distinct sore spot in this area. The pain often shots down to the forearm. The pain can be aggravated by rotation of the forearm against resistance. Adequate rest and control arm activity are necessary in acute stage and may reduce the symptoms. It is a common case and often seem in a acupuncture clinic. Some of them have tried various therapies: Taking pain pills, inflammatory medicine, nerve block, local cortisone shot, or physical therapy etc. They sought acupuncture as a last resort.

L. G. Female 43 She has had R-elbow pain for 6 months. The pain has been bad for 2 months and it radiates to R-forearm and T-thumb. There was a tender spot in the lateral side of the R-elbow. She was taking two different pain medicine. 2 pills every 4-6 hours. But she did not have pain relieve from above treatment. The pain affects her sleep and daily work. R-upper back also has been hurting for 5 weeks. Tongue was slight pale with white coat. Pulses are deep and short. Both her tongue and pulses showed that Qi and blood are declining and stagnated. I used electro-acupuncture to invigorate Qi and blood circulation and reduce the pain. Acupoints were used as:

Du 14    G20,21    LI 15,11,4.    Ashi 1,2    SJ 5,3.

During the beginning two weeks I were only able to give once a week treatment because of unavailable schedule. After two weeks , the pain had not changed. I increased treatment to 2-3 times a week. Within the two weeks her pain had been reduced remarkably. Another two weeks later, her R-elbow pain relieved and no more complaints.

Besides above electro-acupuncture, additional moxibustion and magic heat lamp are also recommended and often use for a tennis elbow.