Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
This entity is frequently from tennis but any strain to the outer elbow from wrist extension and forearm supination will produce micro-tears .
The extensor and supinator muscles of the forearm insert/originate over a body point called the lateral epicondyle. The tissue there is very fibrous with very little blood supply. Tears to that tissue are not a surgical issue.
Treatment with a steroid injection may be suggested but I would caution you to not utilize that modality unless severe and only once.
Steroids do reduce inflammation and pain but also may delay healing.
Acupuncture is very effective in the large majority of cases by 3-5 treatments but does need to be combined with reduced use of that forearm plus a forearm band worn 3 finger-breaths beyond that point during the day for anything more than mild exertional/resistance activity.
As the tissue involved is fibrous in nature, the healing will be slow – over months- and I will monitor your progress with you.
You may need a reinforcing treatment every few weeks during those months. Tennis elbow can return which isn’t a surprise.
A full recovery is likely but a recurrence is possible if one returns to the prior activity too quickly or too vigorously but that can be treated successfully also with careful monitoring of your activities and symptoms.
I look forward to assisting you with this entity and with all muscular strains and tears that do not resolve quickly on their own.
Dr. Mark Gibson