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  Pain Management Theraphy in UK

How does Acupuncture help in Tennis elbow?

By Dr. Emad Tukmachi Clinical Driector of UK Acupuncture Clinics


Tennis elbow (Epicondylitis) is a disorder not related to playing tennis but affecting the muscles and tendons of the elbow joint when becomes damaged from overuse. The typical clinical picture of this condition is with pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow. These symptoms are experienced when the elbow joint is repeatedly moving the same way over and over again. Normally, western medicine such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications has less or no significant therapeutic effects on this condition.  Physical measures of wearing Orthotic devices such as rest band, braces or splint have been proved to be unhelpful. Furthermore, other physical therapies such as physiotherapy, massage and exercise are also not very effective in treatment of tennis elbow.

The steroid injection of the Tennis elbow and surgical intervention are not used as a standard therapy because of side effects and complications  as  result of these treatments. There is no evidence to demonstrate that that steroid injection has the long-term improvement in tennis elbow after one or even two injections. The only advisable number of steroid injection is 3.

How to diagnose Tennis elbow?
In most patients the clinical picture of signs and symptoms can lead to a correct diagnosis. However, the symptoms may vary according to whether a muscles, nerves and tendons are involved. The patient with tennis elbow is commonly suffering from feeling of “cramp” or may get pins and needles if a nerve is compressed. Further investigating is usually done to rule out other causes of tennis elbow pain such as osteoarthritis or fractures. X-ray of the elbow joint
is seldom helpful, though calcification of soft tissues around the lateral epicondyle has been reported in 22% of cases. In conclusion, all doctors will continue to rely on clinical skills to make the diagnosis of tennis elbow.

What are the signs and symptoms of Tennis elbow?

The patient with tennis elbow suffers from pain on the outer side of the affected elbow. The scientific name of tennis elbow in Western Medicine is lateral epicondylitis (which means that the pain is in the area around the lateral epicondyle of the humerus bone in the upper arm).  In the majority of patients, the pain in tennis elbow only occurs when they use their forearm and wrist, particularly for twisting movements such as turning a door handle or opening a jar. This pain is usually constant and it occurs at rest which leads o sleeping disturbance. The pain may move from the elbow down to the arm and/or the wrist.  The patient may experience some difficulties in holding items such as a knife or fork, a cup or a pen, or  even to straighten the arm fully.

Acupuncture therapy for Tennis elbow consists of manual and electrical acupuncture. There is strong evidence on treatment of tennis elbow by Chinese Acupuncture. Many clinical research trials suggest that acupuncture can help to ease pain and improve stiffness in Tennis elbow for long-term period. 

The acupuncture therapy for musculoskeletal pain is growing in acceptance, among both clinicians and consumers of health care. Many patients round the world have been using acupuncture and a large percentage of them suffered musculoskeletal disorders.  The scientific clinical evidence has proved that acupuncture is to confer an analgesic effect and several hypotheses as to the chain of events resulting in analgesia from acupuncture have been proposed. The traditional Chinese theory has explained that acupuncture can clear the blockage of "Qi" or energy in the acupuncture meridians “or Channels”. However, acupuncture is often recommended for the treatment of lateral elbow pain and many studies have investigated the efficacy of this intervention and addressing the effectiveness of acupuncture for relief of pain and dysfunction associated with pain in tennis elbow.
If you need further information on TENNIS ELBOW and its management  by acupuncture therapy , please try to contact
  THE UK ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC  or the CLINICAL DIRECTOR DR. EMAD TUKMACHI  or if you want to make an appointment at one of our UK ACUPUNCTURE CLINICS, please telephone or email us


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