Acupuncture for tennis elbow

At Acupuncture Geelong, we treat quite a number of people with tennis elbow and we’ve found that acupuncture, combined with massage, can be really beneficial in relieving pain and managing symptoms.

What is tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow – or lateral epicondylitis – is a type of tendinitis that causes painful swelling, particularly on the outer part of the arm. A similar condition known as golfer’s elbow affects the inner arm.

Despite the name, tennis elbow isn’t just caused by too much time on the court. Any repetitive injury that overloads the joints can lead to swelling or tearing. It can develop gradually over time, starting out as a dull ache and then becoming quite painful and debilitating.

Tennis elbow can make it difficult to lift, type or hold things. Generally, tennis elbow affects your dominant arm, which makes it difficult to ignore but can also make traditional treatment – such as icing and strapping the area – challenging.

Acupuncture and tennis elbow

In a 2014 study (HealthCMI, 2014), researchers looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating tennis elbow. They found that acupuncture had a positive effect on relieving tennis elbow pain. When acupuncture was combined with massage, this outcome was even better.

An earlier study in 2001 involving 22 participants with tennis elbow found similar results (Acupuncture Today, 2001). Many of the participants in the trial had experienced symptoms for months (and some up to two years) and had tried other treatments unsuccessfully before turning to acupuncture.

Patients reported that symptoms disappeared after an average of 2.9 acupuncture treatments. At a follow-up consultation around 8.5 months after treatment, 77.3% of participants reported that they had returned to normal activities. Another two participants had returned to normal activities aside from those involving heavy lifting.

Acupuncture treatment for tennis elbow in Geelong

Traditional acupuncture involves the use of very thin needles inserted into the skin at strategic points on your body. As a cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is used to treat a range of complaints and conditions.

When treating tennis elbow, we take a holistic approach that looks at your lifestyle so we can target the immediate pain and also prevent it from reoccurring. In your first appointment, Dr Phillip Tring will carry out a complete assessment using traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic tools to come up with a treatment plan. This will generally involve a number of acupuncture sessions, conducted over a series of weeks, as well as Chinese massage and other traditional Chinese medicine treatments.


Dr Phillip Tring is a qualified and AHPRA registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine Practitioner with 8 years of experience. He has experience treating a wide range of presenting conditions, particularly those associated with modern life such as back pain, sciatica, sports injuries, and stress.

Known for his friendly, warm and humorous approach to treatment, Dr Phillip combines his knowledge of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine with a passion for improving his clients’ general health, nutrition and wellbeing.