Tennis Elbow? Burn yourself.
August 18, 2008 5:27 AM   Subscribe

Help me find an article I remember reading about someone who cured their tennis elbow by (accidentally?) burning their elbow with a soldering iron.

Their theory was that the tennis elbow was a nagging injury that was below some threshold where their body wouldn't send enough resources to fully heal, but the burn would caused a rush of healing resources to the area and the tennis elbow got healed at the same time.

I vaguely remember reading an article about this in some waiting room approximately 10 years ago, perhaps Reader's Digest? my google-fu has failed me.
posted by jrishel to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There was a story on Olympics coverage Sunday about a Chinese acupuncturist who heated the needles once they were inserted. The combination of the needle in a specific place and the heat radiating through the needle into the soft tissue provided pain relief. Perhaps a similar concept.
posted by netbros at 6:53 AM on August 18, 2008

Best answer: Sports Illustrated, December 09, 1991. "The Man Who Reshaped Tennis
Inventor, novelist, curator, engineer Siegfried Kuebler made fat a force with his widebody racket."
"Like Joan of Arc , Kuebler solves his problems by fire. When he couldn't shake an agonizing tennis elbow, he seared it with a soldering iron. "After three weeks it was gone," says Kuebler. The pain, not the elbow.

Kuebler had remembered his mother's bedtime stories, fantastical tales of Bedouins healing themselves by placing hot irons on their stomachs. So he went to the library at the University of Freiburg and read up on cauterization. He later published his own treatise, Die Ltkolbentherapie (Curing with the Soldering Iron). The introduction warns: "Not for cowards and people who feel pain easily."

"A tennis elbow is full of miniature cuts," says Kuebler in a gentle, singsong accent that trails off, never quite ending squarely at the end of a sentence. "But your body, unaware of this, does not provide white blood cells to heal it. To alert the body, you must supply more pain. By applying 500-degree heat for 10 seconds, you're letting the body know there's a problem. Ten seconds is nothing compared to all the seconds in your life."
Found via , then a search on the misspelled 'Siegfried Kubler' from this page that came up (accepted the correction and voila, Sports Illustrated Vault).
posted by cashman at 6:54 AM on August 18, 2008

Here's the worldcat entry for the Curing with the Soldering Iron book, since the umlaut didn't come through above, and if you feel like taking a trip to Germany or your interlibrary loan librarians are insanely hardcore. Die Lötkolbentherapie (1990): Erfahrungen, nicht unbedingt zur Nachahmung empfohlen ; nicht für Feiglinge und Wehleidige, by Siegfried Kuebler.
posted by cashman at 7:03 AM on August 18, 2008

Response by poster: That SI article is exactly the one I remember, which I odd, because I hardly ever would pick SI as my waiting room reading material. Excellent find!
posted by jrishel at 7:17 AM on August 18, 2008

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