My chronic lateral epicondylitis has progressed to a partial tear at the origin of the common extensor tendons. PT and forearm strap have not helped very much. I am willing to needle myself if there would be benefit. I want to avoid surgery as I had an operation for the other elbow. Terrible recovery. If dry needling has been effective for this condition, how often should I perform the procedure? I assume at the point of maximum tenderness and distally into the extensor muscles?
The short answer is needling will not heal a tear and also if done correctly will not damage it. The real point is inflammation, and if you can reduce the inflammation in the area the pain will decrease and if the remaining tendon has the tensile strength to function you may get away with it. If the remaining tendon can not withstand the forces applied then you will continue to have on and off pain that is at best mitigated with treatment.