Elbow Pain... And How TENS Can Help
When it comes to joints in the human body, your elbow is amazing. A hinge joint which provides stability and movement, it lets you throw, lift, swing and hug, and that’s just for starters when it comes to everyday activities. The elbow is also a complex joint, however, which means there are a lot of ways things can go wrong, and many reasons why. Fortunately, you can resolve many common elbow issues in the comfort of your home using a TENS machine, potentially avoiding the need for physiotherapy as well as offering a drug-free option.
The elbow forms where the two bones of the forearm, called the radius and ulna, meet the bone of the upper arm, or humerus. The ends of the bones have cartilage to absorb shock and help the bones slide against each other smoothly, and they’re held together by ligaments, with tendons connecting bones to muscles allowing your arm to move in different ways. Elbow pain occurs if injury happens to any part of the elbow, including nerves and blood vessels. Typical symptoms include a dull ache, a weak grip, pain making a fist, pain opening and flexing the fingers, soreness around the elbow bump, and pain when gripping something, especially with an outstretched arm.
There are many causes of elbow pain including bursitis, from repeating the same physical motion over and over, to trapped nerves and osteoarthritis. Two of the most common, however, are tennis elbow, which affects the outside of the joint, and golfer’s elbow which affects the inside. Both overuse injuries which damage tendons, they’re not exclusive to tennis players or golfers, and they can also occur from a range of activities from using gym equipment to repetitive work tasks.
When it comes to relieving elbow issues such as tennis elbow, a device like the PainPod is extremely effective. It works by sending gentle electrical pulses through the affected area, blocking pain signals that would otherwise be sent to the brain, while also encouraging your body to produce endorphins, reducing pain naturally. Specially designed for the elbow is the Hidow AcuElbow Wrap, it works with both the PainPod and Hidow devices, with features including larger silicone conductive pads for even distribution, variable compression and overall support.
Jo Hall, Gold Coast
“I had my first bout of tennis elbow about 10 years ago, and even though I am a tennis player I was not playing actively at the time and have no idea what caused it. After weeks of increasing discomfort, I eventually turned to acupuncture on a friend’s recommendation. It did work, but it took three sessions a week over several months to resolve, and it was expensive even though partially bulk billed. My tennis elbow returned in 2016 while I was preparing to move to the Gold Coast. The repetitive action of packing and lifting boxes was the culprit, but I waited to get it treated until I’d moved and unpacked, turning to acupuncture again. I was packing up again to move within the Gold Coast in March 2021 when tennis elbow threatened to strike for a third time. On this occasion, however, I had a PainPod 3 which I’d bought at the end of 2019 to ease the occasional muscle pain my husband gets in his lower back commuting to Brisbane for work, and to help treat a sprained ligament in my left knee. When that familiar tingly feeling occurred on the outside of my elbow, I immediately started treating the area daily using the acupuncture setting on the PainPod, and wearing a brace for support. This time, thankfully a flare-up was avoided, and I was able to sort the problem in my own time conveniently at home, without the need for more acupuncture.”