Elbow Pain

With Tim Wright - Gower Acupuncture (Swansea)

Sometimes patients’ conditions cluster and I’ll see a lot of one condition in a short time span. Christmas was this time and I saw a lot of patients presenting with elbow pain.

There are two main types of elbow pain. Tennis elbow is where pain manifests primarily on the outside of the elbow. The other is pain on the inside of the elbow – known as golfer’s elbow. If you have either of these and the pain gets worse with use, then the good news is that acupuncture can get great results.

Tennis elbow tends to come from an overuse of the wrist extensors. Not sure what a wrist extensor is? Pull your wrist back (as if you are opening the throttle on a motorbike). If you touch the back of your forearm whilst you’re doing this (with the opposite hand) you’re feeling the wrist extensor muscles contract and tighten. These can become tightened from repetitive keyboard work or manual work. Not only is putting Ikea furniture together frustrating, if you’re doing enough of it that can even trigger it from the continual motion of the wrist. Tenderness in these extensors can usually be dealt with in just a few sessions of acupuncture, assuming you’ve been suffering for less than 3 months.

Golfers Elbow comes from primarily an overuse of the wrist flexors and forearm pronators. Wrist flexion involves dropping your wrist the opposite way to extension (described above). Flexing the wrist engages the muscles on the inside of the forearm which can refer pain into the tell-tale area on the inside of the elbow. Pronation of the forearm involves moving the palm face-up to face down. Obvious twisting movements – such as repetitive manual work can cause issues. Keeping the pronators in a continually shortened state, such as having the palm face down controlling a mouse (computer accessory, not animal!) equally can cause issues.

Either way golfer or tennis acupuncture can help.

Try not to leave it beyond 6 months though as the problem then becomes chronic and more difficult to shift.

www.goweracupuncture.co.uk Tel: 07764 254881

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