Tennis elbow

One of the MSc dissertations that I supervised a few years ago reviewed the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating tennis elbow.

By looking at numerous well conducted clinical trials it showed that there is good evidence that acupuncture is, indeed, effective in treating  tennis elbow.

I was chatting to a friend about this, this week, and my friend wondered how many people I saw with tennis elbow where the problem was actually a result of playing tennis.

The answer is ‘not very many’ out of hundreds of tennis elbow referrals!

Here’s a list of a few causes that I have come across;

  1. Poor posture whilst typing and using a computer mouse,
  2. Riding quad bikes,
  3. Riding mountain bikes,
  4.  Playing the guitar,
  5. Carrying coal scuttles,
  6. Carrying pails of water (not a Jack or a Jill),
  7. Rock climbing,
  8. Playing tennis,
  9. Using secateurs all day,
  10. Using chain saws,
  11. Starting two stroke engines too often in a hire shop,
  12. Carrying a huge, lovely, new handbag all day shopping!

Almost always tennis elbow is associated with too much tension in the forearm muscles. Acupuncture is useful both to reduce this chronic over tightening and also to reduce inflammation and speed up healing time at the tendon insertion into the lateral epicondyle of the elbow joint.

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