Almost all of us at one time or another suffer from some type of overuse syndrome which leads to joint pain, so today we will focus on tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis which is a common complaint in any acupuncture clinic. There are several types of acupuncture treatments for a diagnosis of tennis elbow and one of them is very interesting. It is a treatment where no needles are used in or around the elbow. Instead the needles are placed around the knee!! What’s even more amazing is that most times there is immediate relief.
There was a study published in the British Journal of Rheumatology, Dec, 1994 in which a placebo controlled, single blind trial was completed by 48 patients. After being examined, half of the patients were given “placebo” acupuncture in which needles never punctured the skin, and the other half were given needles in and around the knee joint, nowhere near the elbow pain.
Of the 24 patients who received “real” acupuncture in the knee, 19 patients or over 79% reported immediate pain relief of at least 50% where only 6 of the 24 patients receiving placebo acupuncture reported pain relief. The average duration of pain relief was 20.2 hours for the real acupuncture as opposed to 1.4 hours for the placebo group.This is a very significant finding showing that there is an intrinsic pain relieving effect in the clinical treatment of tennis elbow pain with acupuncture, which exceeds that of a placebo.