Tip: Strengthening your grip by using a grip exerciser is a great way of relieving elbow pain. Doing this type of exercise promotes blood flow and strengthens forearm muscles that help alleviate the pain.
What is tennis or golfer's elbow? They are basically the same issue only on different parts of the elbow. Tennis elbow is considered lateral epicondylitis, which is inflammation of the tendons connecting to the outside part of the elbow. Golfer's elbow is medial epicondylitis, which is inflammation of the tendons connecting to the inside of your elbow. They are both painful and can cause loss of motion in the arm.
What causes the inflammation? Of course playing tennis or golf will cause the inflammation creating the debilitating pain. Anytime there is over use or misuse this type of pain can be caused, even the pizza man down the street can get it from flipping pizza all day long every day.
In the eyes of an acupuncturist this painful inflammation is considered a blockage of energy in one or more energy meridians that pass through the elbow. There are 6 meridians that pass through the elbow, they are:
- Large Intestine
- Small Intestine
- Triple Burner
When it comes to Tennis elbow the Large Intestine and Lung meridians are mostly effected and with Golfer's its the Heart and Small Intestine meridians that are effected. Taking into account the effected meridians an acupuncturist will choose local acupuncture points that lie on the elbow to stimulate in order to break the painful blockage. Using local points along with distal points on the forearm or leg will help move the fluctuation of energy movement in the body that connect to the elbow.
There are other modalities that can be used to help as well, like Guasha. Guasha is a type of massage done usually with a smooth porcelain tool that is done over or near painful areas of the body that help break up knots and blockages while promoting blood flow to the area. Doing guasha in conjunction with acupuncture can be especially beneficial to elbow pain.
Acute cases are obviously much easier to help, but chronic cases can take much longer then desired to get better. So if you or any one you know suffers from tennis or golfer's elbow get them to an acupuncturist as soon as you can.
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