Tennis elbow is a condition that, despite its name, doesn’t only happen to those who play tennis. If you are experiencing pain or weakness on the outside of your forearm or elbow, dry needling is an exceptional therapy that can provide significant relief. At Free Body Physical Therapy, we implement dry needling into our tennis elbow treatments to help patients experience better and faster results! Continue reading to learn more!
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is another term for lateral epicondylitis. While the name suggests this condition solely occurs in tennis players, tennis elbow is one of the most common conditions in patients experiencing elbow pain. Tennis elbow is thought to result from small tears of the tendons attaching the forearm muscles to the arm at the elbow joint. Most cases of tennis elbow are caused by overuse and repetitive movements. Some of the prevalent symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Burning or aching pain outside of the elbow.
- Pain in the elbow that spreads to the forearm.
- Weakened grip strength.
Dry Needling for Tennis Elbow
When you suffer a repetitive strain injury like tennis elbow, your tissues go through a healing process. This usually begins with swelling and inflammation and culminates with the reconstruction of the injured tissue. Adhesions and scar tissue build-up can form and lead to chronic dysfunction during this process. Dry needling is an alternative therapeutic modality that can help treat tennis elbow. While dry needling utilizes the same type of needles as acupuncture, they are different.
Acupuncture is based on traditional Chinese medicine, and dry needling is based on Western medicine. The needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points during a dry needling session to relieve pressure. Some of the benefits of dry needling for tennis elbow can include:
- Reduced inflammation and swelling – Dry needling can help reduce the inflammation and swelling often associated with tennis elbow. This, in turn, can encourage healing and prevent further tissue damage.
- Improved blood circulation – By using small needles to stimulate the muscles around your elbow, dry needling can boost blood flow to the area. This improved circulation can help to reduce pain and promote healing.
- Reduced muscle tension – One of the leading causes of tennis elbow is muscle tightness or trigger points. Dry needling can help release these trigger points and reduce muscle tension, leading to reduced pain and discomfort.
- Improved range of motion – When the muscles and tissues around your elbow are relaxed, you will often experience an enhanced range of motion. This can be beneficial for those who suffer from tennis elbow as it helps to prevent further injury and allows you to return to your regular activities more quickly.
If you are suffering from tennis elbow, dry needling may be a treatment option worth considering. Our physical therapists at Free Body Physical Therapy will discuss whether it is right for you and how you should proceed with treatment. It’s important to note that dry needling alone may not completely resolve tennis elbow. Our team will incorporate dry needling into your comprehensive treatment plan to ensure well-rounded care. With regular dry needling sessions, you can experience relief from the pain and discomfort associated with tennis elbow and start on the potential path to a full recovery.
Dry needling is a safe and effective treatment option for many people with tennis elbow. If you are considering dry needling for your tennis elbow, be sure to consult with our practitioners at Free Body Physical Therapy. With the right treatment plan, you can find relief from your tennis elbow pain and get back to enjoying your favorite activities. Be sure to contact Free Body Physical Therapy today to learn more and schedule an appointment!