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Tennis Elbow – Why Do Studies Show Acupuncture Has Only Short Term Benefits?

Tennis Elbow – Why Do Studies Show Acupuncture Has Only Short Term Benefits?
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Volume 2 Issue 4 - August 2007

by Suzanne Tapper

Patients frequently present to acupuncture clinics for treatment of ‘tennis elbow’ (TE). Often this condition has become chronic due to delayed presentation for treatment, or unsuccessful intervention with other modalities. According to the scientific literature acupuncture only gives temporary relief of the pain and dysfunction associated with TE. However many clinicians report successful treatment of this painful and debilitating condition. This paper examines the available evidence regarding acupuncture treatment of TE. The limitations of the studies are discussed with reference to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, as well as neuroanatomical considerations. The need to look beyond local structures and to identify other contributing factors that may prevent long-term resolution of TE, is also discussed.
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