Looking for acupuncture points for elbow bursitis

Hi this is my first post so I welcome any replies or advice. I'm an acupuncture student and I would like to treat the sympoms of elbow bursitis in my father (60 years old). He plays a lot of golf so he initially thought it was tennis elbow or golfers elbow but after a bit of research we think he probably has elbow bursitis. Also, until recently, he had a desk job for years and regularly rested elbows on desk.  I've told him to ice the area regularly and also to take an anti inflammatory. What acupuncture points can I use to assist in his recovery?


Comments

Feng Mei's picture

If check his elbow "Mills

If check his elbow "Mills Sign" positive, that mean he has tennis elbow, points: Li4, 10, 11, Gb34, Lv3, and ashi points surround needles.

Darach's picture

Thanks for your assistance

Thanks for your assistance with the points. I don't understand what you mean by "Mills Sign" positive though?

Feng Mei's picture

 Mills Sign is the elbow

 Mills Sign is the elbow extenor pull test. The patient extend elbow joint and hold fist then bend wrist joint, and spin front the forearm, if feel pain on out side of elbow, this is "+" positive. Mills Sign is for check the inflammation of Epicondylus Lateralis(tennis elbow).

Darach's picture

Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to explain.........very much appreciated

klieft's picture

golf elbow

Useful information! Are the same points applicable for a so called golf elbow?

Chad Dupuis's picture

Just to get you headed in the

Just to get you headed in the right general direction our page on acupuncture for arthritis is generally applicable to all types of pain and has a section of local and distal points for many specific areas of the body.  

There are a few things I would add to what feng said above - one, I always focus with strong tuina on the neck of the affected side in the C6, C7, T1 area as well as the SI 16/17 area to open circulation to the arm.  Generally the points Feng mentions are fine, the ashi points, however, are important and will often be what makes the difference treatment wise.  You choose those by palpating locally and selecting the areas of most pain, but also slightly distally by choosing areas that are either painful or feel extremely tight to you.  Tuina around the area is helpful.  Finally, while it is more for acute injuries (broken bones, sprains, etc.) the herbal formula Jin Gu Die Da Wan often aids tendon related overuse conditions such as these even in cases where the improvement from acupuncture is minimal.  It is not a long term treatment, generally, just one round (each bottle is ~10 days at a normal dose) will get relief, which is often permanent so long as the area is kept loose after events that previously triggered the discomfort.

Darach's picture

Thanks Chad I'll definately

Thanks Chad I'll definately be refering back to that page as I continue my studies

miguelín's picture

i have had this condition (

i have had this condition ( elbow bursitis) a couple of times and it can become quite ugly. last time i stimulated the points you mentioned here in a couple of sessions and the symptoms more or less disappeared within days. however, i have 2 questions regarding this issues:

1. i was tought that point SI3 is one of the most effective points or might even be considered a cardinal point for any inflammation, yet is not among the ones you mention. can that explained to a tcm-aficionado that has not received a complete training on tcm but has a resonable understanding of its basic pinciples?

2. since this is a condition that i am confronted with every couple of years, i wonder if i can use tcm, or rather needling in particular, to make the structures in the elbow stronger and thus increase the likelhood that this particular condition will not again bother me. my impression is that there has always remained some kind of a tender spot in my elbow that is likely to be the point where the next inflammation is going to start. do you have any recommendations that i can try to prevent this in the long run?

chad and all you others, thanks a lot for your help! i love this site!

 

miguelin

 

 

 

concerning long-term treatment and one particular point w

Fjennings's picture

Golf elbow

I ahve to say I'm not in favour of "ice the area regularly" - lets in Cold & Damp in my opinion.

Feng Mei's picture

Golf elbow is the same as

Golf elbow is the same as tennis elbow if check Mills Sgin "+", you can use the same acupuncture points or tuina with herb wine.

Feng Mei's picture

Hi, Miguelin: thanks your

Hi, Miguelin: thanks your reply! To prevent elbow inflammation in the future, the most important thing is warm up excercise before long run, for example: circle the forearms and elbow joints clockwise and counter-clockwise directions, self-massage the points: Li11, Ht3, Si8, Lu5, Ex-ue1 area, make sure the Qi and Blood totally active in your arms, when you feel arms' temperature raise up, that will be good ready to long run. 

miguelín's picture

thanks,   feng mei, i will

thanks,

 

feng mei, i will try how that works out in the long run, hoping that the recommended points will work regardless of me actually not being much of a runner, be it long or short distance ;-)

Alpha's picture

elbow bursitis with swelling

What about for a patient with negative "Mill's test" (no pain when turning wrist) who has "student's elbow," bursitis from elbow trauma caused by excessive leaning on a hard surface? This patient has a tender elbow bone and protruding swelling of the elbow.

gnigma's picture

Check the Meridians

For pain on the outside of the elbow, check the corresponding meridians on the opposite knee. For instance, if the pain is on the TaiYang (SI) meridian, check for ashi points on the TaiYang (BL) meridian at the opposite knee. If the pain is more towards the YangMing (LI) or ShaoYang (SJ) then check for ashi points in the corresponding meridians of the opposite knee  (ST & GB.) If the pain is not directly on a meridian, say between LI and SJ, check for ashi points between those meridians at the knee. You can also look for ashi points on the clock opposite meridians, on either knee. Have the patient flex the joint a little while the needles are in.

 

Try it; it works!

Jon Fellman's picture

acupuncture points for elbow bursitis

Yes, I agree with gnigma's post above, check with the related meridan points on the knee. I would NOT use local points with an inflamatory condition.  It would be okay to use a distal point on the same meridian.
So if the pain is in the Right Hand Yang Ming Meridian, say right near LI 15, one would check:
1. The Left  Foot Yang Ming (around St 36, look for tender point)
And, or
2. The Left or RIght Foot Jue Yin Meridian around LV 8
And, or
3. The opposite elbow on the Tai Yin Meridian around LU 5.
And, or
4. The Left or Right Foot Shaoyin around K 10
And, or
5. The Same meridian at LI 4

Also, look for tender pts on opposit IT band between GB 31 and the knee.

So,

Rt side:  LI 4, LV 8 ashi, K 10 ashi

Lft side: Lu5 ashi, St 36 ashi, GB 34 ashi

NOTE: There may be more than one point at these areas that should be needled. You should palpate the painful area ( or have the patient feel or move it through challenging range of motion) before and after the needling to see if there is a distinct change in the pain. When you have needled the right points there should be an immediate and significant change. Leave the needles in for at least 40 minutes...

Jon Fellman's picture

acupuncture points for elbow bursitis

Yes, I agree with gnigma's post above, check with the related meridan points on the knee. I would NOT use local points with an inflamatory condition.  It would be okay to use a distal point on the same meridian.
So if the pain is in the Right Hand Yang Ming Meridian, say right near LI 15, one would check:
1. The Left  Foot Yang Ming (around St 36, look for tender point)
And, or
2. The Left or RIght Foot Jue Yin Meridian around LV 8
And, or
3. The opposite elbow on the Tai Yin Meridian around LU 5.
And, or
4. The Left or Right Foot Shaoyin around K 10
And, or
5. The Same meridian at LI 4

Also, look for tender pts on opposit IT band between GB 31 and the knee.

So,

Rt side:  LI 4, LV 8 ashi, K 10 ashi

Lft side: Lu5 ashi, St 36 ashi, GB 34 ashi

NOTE: There may be more than one point at these areas that should be needled. You should palpate the painful area ( or have the patient feel or move it through challenging range of motion) before and after the needling to see if there is a distinct change in the pain. When you have needled the right points there should be an immediate and significant change. Leave the needles in for at least 40 minutes...

j.sexton_gr's picture

tennis elbow

Hi Everyone!

I have seen some acupuncturists using moxa together with needles for healing tennis elbow. Since this is an inflammatory condition, is it proper to use heat?

 

 

neilkingham's picture

Ashi points are vital

The discussion up to now has been mainly on channel points, but for any condition of this kind, don't under-estimate the importance of ashi points.

Palpate the surrounding area, including up and down the arm, for tender points, and needle them. It is very important to use a number of ashi points, in my experience.

 

Jon Fellman's picture

Re: Ashi points are vital

Neilkingham, yes ashi points can be of great use but in acute inflamatory conditions the Local ashi points can often induce a worsening of conditions. If I do use local points, it is either for more chronic conditions without inflamation and then only do very shallow japanes style treatments with only about 5 minute duration then proceeding with direct moxibustion, fllowed by the applied channel balancing techniques.

leapingfrog's picture

Elbow Points

I seem to have good luck with the local elbow points in the area that are ASHI.  I also take the elbow and work it across the two extremes by placing pressure on the two ends of the crease (thumb and middle finger) and work the index finger into san jiao 10.  Then move the palm up and down while working the elbow joint to its perfect center.  I must say I usually warm up all the muscles with a bit of work first before this passive joint movement.

Although I'm impressed with all the great answers and I've used this remote technique of Dr. Richard Tan and it also helps.  Sometimes the elbow is so bad you can't start locally.  I still work into local after the remote points if I can.

David Scott

no free flow equals pain

Jon Fellman's picture

Elbow Points

Yeah, I definitely do bodywork as well. Thats another reason I use the distal points since it keeps the elbow totally free for work with by hands! Super helpful!