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Guide to dry needling for tennis elbow

One of the most common injuries we encounter at our clinic is tennis elbow, which can make tasks as simple as gripping objects and stretching out your arm extremely painful. When working with a physio, there are a range of different treatment options you may be offered. Just one of them is dry needling – which, understandably, can sound intimidating to someone who’s never experienced it before.

Needles are a pretty common phobia, so it’s reasonable to have some hesitation about needle therapy. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about how dry needling may be a viable treatment option for tennis elbow.

For personalised advice, contact our team at Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic today.

What is Tennis Elbow?

‘Tennis elbow’ is the more common term for lateral epicondylitis. The injury is typically the result of small tears in the tendons that attach the elbow joint to the forearm muscles. While the name ‘tennis elbow’ may sound as though the injury is exclusive to tennis players, this is far from the case. In fact, this is one of the most common elbow injuries found in patients. The condition is frequently caused by overuse of the tendon through repetitive movements and strain.

Plenty of people who are required to do a lot of lifting for work or who play sports with repetitive arm movements may experience tennis elbow at some point in their lives. Some of the most common symptoms associated with cases of tennis elbow include:

  • Weakened grip strength and difficulty tightening their fist
  • Pain that radiates from the elbow through the forearm
  • Pain along the outside of the elbow, often described as ‘burning’, ‘throbbing’, or ‘aching’

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a common treatment technique for musculoskeletal conditions, injuries, and general pain. It is typically used as one part of a larger plan for pain management, coordinated with other treatments such as exercise, massage, lifestyle changes, stretches, and more.

The treatment itself involves very fine, sharp needles inserted through the skin around the affected areas. Dry needling focuses on myofascial trigger points, which are knotted and highly tender areas that can develop in muscles. A trigger point can be extremely painful to touch and grow worse if left untreated over time.

The needles themselves are so thin that many patients don’t even feel the insertion taking place – yet, their impact may be able to provide immediate relief from pain. When dry needling is applied to muscles and tissues, it can help increase blood flow to the injured area. This helps stimulate a healing response in the body, reduce pain, and decrease tightness. Overall, dry needling is a noninvasive treatment option that may offer some impactful health benefits.

Can Dry Needling Be Used for Tennis Elbow?

Repetitive strain injuries such as tennis elbow will affect the surrounding tissues. There is a crucial healing process that needs to take place when this happens, which will often lead to symptoms such as swelling, inflammation, and dysfunction of the joint. Dry needling is a popular treatment for tennis elbow because it can help stimulate this healing process, increasing blood flow, and helping to alleviate pain in the affected area.

To put it simply – yes! Dry needling sessions may be able to relieve some of the pressure in your myofascial trigger points and help heal your tennis elbow.

Benefits of Dry Needling for Tennis Elbow

Dry needling is an alternative treatment technique that can offer some great benefits for patients struggling with tennis elbow. One of the biggest benefits of this technique is that it’s completely noninvasive, often only causing minimal discomfort during the session. Here are just a few of the outcomes you may experience thanks to dry needling:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Enhanced range of motion
  • Improved function in the elbow
  • Reduced inflammation and swelling
  • Lower pain levels

Book an Appointment at NDPE for Dry Needling in West Ryde

What starts as a twinge in your elbow can quickly worsen into something more severe. The sooner you find treatment for your tennis elbow, the sooner you’ll be able to find some relief from pain. If you’re struggling with pain associated with tennis elbow, then dry needling may provide some much-needed support. The team of physios here at Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic (NDPE) can help assess, diagnose, and treat various injuries, including tennis elbow. Book an appointment with us today to discuss your possible treatment options with a friendly physio.

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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...

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