Tennis elbow- Lateral Epicondylalgia- is a common condition affecting 1-3% of the general population and 15% of manual workers, ( ref 1). Aproximately 8%  of new referrals in my primary care clinic have this diagnosis . Symptoms include elbow pain, often felt at the tip of the elbow, pain in the forearm and reduced grip strength. The condition can be caused by sports such as tennis, squash and badminton or bowls and also by repetitive wrist actions such as typing or working at machinery.

Short term relief can be gained from the application of local non steroidal anti-inflammatory creams and cortisone injection. (Ref 1 ) Long term relief is better gained with acupuncture to the trigger points of the elbow and arm in combination with stretching and strengthening exercises similar to physiotherapy, ( Ref 1). Forearm straps can help control pain  during activity

Examination will determine if the diagnosis is tennis elbow – Mills Test-. And if there is any compensatory pain in the upper arm and shoulder. Treatment can be quite uncomfortable on the day but good benefit can be gained after 4 weekly 30 minute  sessions. 

Golfers elbow – Medial Epicondylalgia – is less common and affects the inside aspect of the elbow and can also respond to acupuncture if there are trigger points.


Ref 1,  Epicondylalgia . ‘Global Year against musculoskeletal Pain.. 2009 International Association for the Study of Pain