Figure A. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) primarily involves the extensor carpi radialis brevis muscle.
Spring is coming and so is an increase of activity and exercise for our patients. Lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow,” may be coming into your practice soon (Fig. A).
The “go to” muscle for lateral epicondylitis is the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB). Research shows that this muscle is the primary extensor muscle involved in lateral epicondylitis (Safran, M. 2010). It is good to treat the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRL) muscle as well since these two muscles are myofascially connected (LI sinew channel). The ECRB directly attaches to the lateral epicondyle and the ECRL has strong fascial attachments to the lateral epicondyle.
Treating these muscle motor points can help decrease the pain caused by Cozen’s Test (Fig. B) when assessed before and after the acupuncture treatment. The extensor digitorum communis (SJ sinew channel) is also a major extensor of the wrist that attaches to the lateral epicondyle and its involvement in the tennis elbow injury can be assessed with a manual muscle test.