Acupuncture treatment in epicondylalgia: a comparative study of two acupuncture techniques

Clin J Pain. 1990 Sep;6(3):221-6. doi: 10.1097/00002508-199009000-00009.


The purpose of this study was to compare the pain-alleviating effect of classical acupuncture with superficial needle insertion in 82 patients suffering from lateral epicondylalgia. Sessions were 20 min long, two to three times weekly with 10 treatments in all. Five acupuncture points were treated: LI 10, 11, 12, Lu 5, and SJ 5. After 10 treatments significant differences were observed between the groups favoring the classical acupuncture technique in relation to subjective and objective outcome. No such differences could be observed at the follow-ups after 3 months and 1 year. This study showed that classical "deep" acupuncture is superior to superficial needle insertion in the short-term symptomatic treatment of lateral epicondylalgia, but not at 3- and 12-month follow-up.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management*
  • Tennis Elbow / diagnosis
  • Tennis Elbow / physiopathology
  • Tennis Elbow / therapy*