One of the most common injuries professional athletes suffer from is an inflammation of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, more commonly known as tennis elbow.
Tennis elbow (epicondylitis) is caused by the repeated twisting of the wrist and rotation of the forearm. It leads to weakened grip, elbow pain, and damage to the tendons that connect the bones of the upper arm.
While conventional treatment for tennis elbow (medication, braces, heat, physical therapy) relieve pain, they do very little to prevent the condition from recurring. However, results of a preliminary study has shown Acupuncture treatments not only relieve the symptoms, but also resolves the condition completely.
Twenty-two patients with varying degrees of tennis elbow participated in the study, led by Dr. Peter Dorsher, a medical doctor certified in Acupuncture. All patients were treated with “rounded” Acupuncture needles and with French Energetic Meridian Therapy, with needles inserted at local points on the elbow in tight myofascial bands.
Patients were treated 2 to 10 times; a “maximal response” was achieved after an average of 3.9 treatments, with each patient reporting a disappearance of symptoms.
In addition, results from Acupuncture lasted longer than patients treated with pain killers, braces, or other traditional methods.
77.3% of patients reported a resolution of symptoms 8.5 months after the study and had returned to full, normal activities.
Dorsher noted many patients had endured pain for an average of eight months prior to Acupuncture treatment; six patients had experienced symptoms for more than two years.
Prior to the study, 22 patients had used extensive hand therapy interventions; 17 had used an elbow brace or splint; seven received corticosteroid injections; and one patient had elbow surgery — none of which relieved their symptoms as effectively as Acupuncture.
SOURCE: Reuters Health, November 6, 2000; Acupuncture Today, February 2001, www.acupuncturetoday.com.