Acupuncture/ pressure

The place for acupuncture in treating tennis elbow

Physicians from the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho in Boise have published a review of the treatment of lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) in American Family Physician.

Several CAM options are discussed. Let’s focus on acupuncture.

Here’s the state-of-the?art

  • No fewer than 5 reviews (including a Cochrane review) of the literature on acupuncture for this condition have been undertaken in the past 10 years.
  • A consensus statement from the National Institutes of Health in 1998 concluded that study results were promising enough to consider acupuncture an appropriate option for treating lateral epicondylitis.
  • The benefits seem to be confined to short-term (3 days to 2 months) pain reduction.

The bottom line?
The authors developed an algorithm for the treatment of tennis elbow by family practice physicians. A physical threapist is the first consultant after basic care options fail to correct the problem.

An acupuncturist comes next, just before sending the patient to an orthopedist or sports medicine specialist.

10/21/07 16:47 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.