Acupuncutre Treatments For Elbow Pain

Acupuncture Treatments For Elbow Pain

If you have ever had elbow pain, there are several disorders could be causing your pain. Sports injuries and overuse may cause elbow conditions. Golfers, tennis players, and boxers often have elbow disorders. Acupuncture treatments for elbow pain is one treatment option that can relieve your symptoms.

Causes & Symptoms of Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is generally caused by overuse. Many hobbies, sports, and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist, or arm movements. Elbow pain may occur due to arthritis, but your elbow joint is much less prone to damage from wear and tear than are many other joints.

Causes of elbow pain include:

forearm muscles anterior flexors labeled
  • Broken arm
  • Joint inflammation (Bursitis)
  • Dislocated elbow
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Stress fractures
  • Tendinitis
  • Throwing injuries and trapped nerves

Three of the most common causes of elbow pain, however, are tennis elbow, golfer's elbow and carpal tunnel.

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, affects the outside of the elbow with pain radiating down the outside of the forearm and into the wrists. The pain with tennis elbow starts slowly until the person cannot avoid the pain. Tennis elbow affects all athletes, not just tennis players. This is usually caused by sudden or slow injury of the muscle and tendon around the outer area of the elbow.

Tennis elbow tendonitis specifically involves the area of the forearm called the lateral epicondyle where muscles are attached to the elbow. It commonly affects the dominant arm. Symptoms include pain around the outside elbow. The pain gets worse when turning, squeezing, and shaking hands. It affects men more than women and people who pursue activities with repetitive arm movements.

Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis) usually affects the inside of the elbow with pain radiating down the inside of the forearm and into the wrist. The symptoms include pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling that can radiate into the hand.

Lateral epicondylitis and medial epicondylitis both produce dull and sharp pain around the elbow that can radiate toward the hand when using the elbow muscles. The can often occur together in people who use their hands throughout the day for work or exercises. More information can be found here on the differences between tennis elbow and golfer's elbow.

Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel are also common causes of elbow pain. Carpal tunnel is commonly recognized as a median nerve entrapment that causes pain, numbness, and weakness into the thumb, index, and middle finger. The median nerve can becomes entrapped or "pinched" under the pronator teres muscles near the elbow.

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a compression of the ulnar nerve as it travels behind the elbow in the cubital tunnel. The ulnar nerve is vulnerable to compression behind the elbow from chronic tendonitis or bumping your elbow. Many of us have felt the sensation of hitting your "funny bone" or ulnar nerve. Cubital tunnel syndrome treatment also responds well to conservative treatment and acupuncture.

Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.

Anatomy of the Elbow

bicep muscle insertion labeled

The elbow is made up of three bones: the humerus, ulna, and radius. The ends of each bones are covered with cartilage and held together with ligaments that form the joint capsule, a fluid-filled sac that lubricates and surrounds the joint.

The medial collateral ligament (on the inside of the elbow) and the lateral collateral ligament (on the outside of the elbow) provide stability, holding the humerus and the ulna together. The annular ligament, a third ligament, holds the radial head against the ulna.

There are also tendons in your elbow that attach muscle to bone. The most notable being the biceps tendon, which attaches the biceps muscle on the front of the arm, and the triceps tendon, which attaches the triceps muscle on the back of your arm.

Home Treatments for Elbow Pain

acupuncture shoulder pain chandler

Once tennis elbow symptoms have become severe enough to cause noticeable pain, your first line of defense is to rest the area and stop repetitive movements that caused the elbow pain. Remember the acronym RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Ice the elbow and forearm several times per day for 15 to 20-minute intervals. Compression and elevation help to keep inflammation from getting worse. A bandage or splint can help the inflamed tendon from becoming too swollen.

Another home treatment for elbow pain is performing stretches and exercises for tennis elbow. These include things like eccentric wrist stretches, forearm extensor stretches, and tricep stretch.

Treatments for both golfer's elbow and tennis elbow also include corticosteroid injections and NSAIDs. While these treatments may decrease pain and inflammation temporarily, there are side effects with each. Many primary care or specialists prefer a trial treatment of conservative therapy before utilizing more aggressive treatments.

How Does Acupuncture Help Elbow Pain?

acupuncture wrist chandler

Acupuncture is a noninvasive treatment thought to release neurochemicals to stimulate the nervous system. The resulting changes influence homeostasis, which is our body's ability to stabilize itself. Stimulation of acupuncture points has been shown to decrease pain sensitivity and increase relaxation.

Elbow acupuncture treatments enhance conservative therapy and home treatments to speed healing and reduce pain.

Acupuncture can relieve tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, carpal tunnel, and cubital tunnel symptoms by stimulating the release of endorphins and serotonin which changes the processing of pain in the brain. It improves muscle stiffness and joint mobility by improving circulation.

Many people seek acupuncture for their forearm muscle and elbow joint pain, it is also very effective when combined with conservative therapy and medical treatments.

Conservative Treatments for Elbow Injuries

Other noninvasive treatments for elbow injuries include massage, Graston technique, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Both massage and Graston technique can help provide relief by loosening your muscle fibers that are causing elbow pain. Chiropractic adjustments help to reduce joint restrictions or misalignments in the body in an effort to reduce inflammation and improve joint function. Physical therapy helps by gently stretching and strengthening specific muscles and joints.

Video: Medial Epicondylitis & Lateral Epicondylitis


Graston Technique elbow pain

Chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture can be used alone or combined to enhance many types of treatments and injuries. Many people with chronic pain find significant relief when combining these treatments.

Alpha Chiropractic and Physical Therapy provides treatment for many patients in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and Maricopa. Most patients have never seen a clinic that combines treatments from different providers into improving your pain.

Therapy and treatments for many types of conditions can be improved with a combination of acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy. Learn more about our unique Chandler Chiropractic Clinic.

Click Here to Receive a $40 Certificate for your 1st Acupuncture Treatment and Evaluation.