About Tennis elbow (RSI)
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a blanket term for a range of physical conditions caused by damage to muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. It affects the hands, arms, neck and shoulders and symptoms include pain, stiffness, pins and needles, swelling, numbness and loss of manual dexterity. Some of the conditions encompassed by RSI include: tenosynvitis (inflammation of the synovial sheaths, usually in the hands and wrists): tendinitis (inflammation and thickening of the tendons): epicondylitis (tennis elbow); and carpal tunnel syndrome (where repeated bending of the wrist causes fluid and tissue to press on the median nerve).
There are three main causes of RSI: static posture, repetitive movements and stress. Static posture commonly occurs through sitting for long periods at computer workstations, supermarket check-outs and conveyor belts, keeping muscles in a fixed and tensed position so that circulation is decreased and muscle fatigue ensues. Constricted blood vessels, immobile joints and compressed nerves can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders as well as inflammation and nerve pain.
Repetitive movements such as those made by computer users can cause local injuries such as tennis elbow; rapid key stroking and hand/wrist stretches put an enormous strain on arms and hands and combined with poor workstation design and too few breaks, can cause RSI, stress exacerbates symptoms, as the body reacts by sending chemical messages from the brain which increase muscle tension, backache and headaches and disrupt the body.
Experts agree that the best form of treatment is prevention. When symptoms occur they should not be ignored because once established RSI can be notoriously difficult to treat and can last for years.
Acupuncture is a holistic approach to medicine, where the aim of the treatment is not only to cure health problems but to balance the body, which has the effect of strengthening the immune system and preventing other illness form getting a foothold.
Much of the acupuncture consultation will be dedicated to a detailed system of TCM diagnosis (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Successful acupuncture treatment depends on an accurate TCM diagnosis, so the initial consultation begins with typical questions such as: Your complete medical history, the symptoms you are experiencing, any pain you have had or are suffering from and what makes it feel better or worse, your sleep patterns, whether you experience any sensations of hot or cold, and whether you experience dizziness, what you’re eating habits are, bowel movements and family health history.
During the consultation the acupuncturist will also note certain observations, such as: posture, facial colour, facial expression, the brightness of your eyes or lack of, for example: a white face is linked to disharmony within the body or cold deficiency syndromes, a yellow complexion is related to dampness and a red complexion is a sign of excess heat syndrome.
The tongue is looked at and the pulse is taken and again this is done according to TCM principles. The colour, shape and coating of the tongue can reveal many patterns of illness and the pulse can give an indication of how individual organs are working in the body and whether they are underactive or overactive and whether your body is in a state of excess or deficiency.
Once the initial consultation is complete a TCM diagnosis is formed and from this diagnosis acupuncture point selection is then possible.
The length of treatment will depend on several factors, such as: the type of illness you have and its duration i.e. chronic or acute, your age, your individual healing abilities, how well you respond to acupuncture and whether you can avoid the conditions/cause of your presenting health issue. However many people can feel a difference in their health with only one or two appointments, but in general you should see some improvements after 3-4 treatments.
Because everyone is an individual, response times to acupuncture can vary, for example. After your first acupuncture appointment you may feel no improvement in your presenting complaint, however many people feel sleepy, revitalized, or sometimes a little spaced out after treatment. You can also feel an immediate improvement after acupuncture; alternatively you can feel a little worse, before you start to feel better. Acupuncture can bring emotional, mental and physical problems to the surface, however this is a positive sign so don’t worry about it. As with any treatment, complete recovery takes time and patience. For more information on what to expect from acupuncture treatment please refer to our FAQ page.
A case of tennis elbow.
Sandra W. Age 51 attended the clinic complaining of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) She developed this condition when a friend at the gym she worked out in, advised her on a new way of doing a particular exercise, after a few weeks of doing this new method she developed tennis elbow and had to stop her workouts completely, over the next few months she tried various therapies but none of them seemed to work until her physiotherapist recommended she see an acupuncturist. Sandra booked an appointment with us and after filling out the standard consultation form acupuncture treatment began, Sandra’s treatment consisted of 6 acupuncture sessions over a two week period, each session lasted for 40 minutes, Sandra gained a 40% improvement in her range of motion and a 30% decrease in pain on her first appointment, Sandra’s improvement continued with every acupuncture session and by the end of the 6th session Sandra was 100% pain free with full range of motion in her elbow and is now back to the gym doing her favourite workouts. Sandra has been pain free now for 6 months.
Regardless of your medically diagnosed condition natural medicine has something to offer.
If you would like to find out if acupuncture can help your health and wellbeing then call, 94781415 or email us via our contact page to discuss your requirements or to find out more about acupuncture please go to our FAQs page. Alternatively give acupuncture a try and make an appointment now.
Best of health.
Paul Neilson CMP. L.Ac. ND. DHM.