Many people develop “tennis elbow” due to repetitive strain or stress on the elbow. Tennis elbow, also called lateral epicondylitis, is a common ailment among athletes and patients that perform activities requiring repetitive elbow movement, lifting heavy loads, or using hand tools. The condition may cause elbow pain and stiffness that worsens with wrist extension and gripping.
Patients are regularly treated through over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, application of cold packs, exercise therapy, and braces. Unfortunately, tendons have a rather poor blood supply causing a prolonged healing period. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a very popular, effective treatment for tennis elbow.
What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a safe, unique, and effective procedure used to treat musculoskeletal injuries. PRP involves injecting a high concentration of the patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
The plasma is separated from other blood cells in a centrifuge and injected into the patient’s injured tissues. The injection is done using ultrasound imaging guidance.
PRP Therapy as a Tennis Elbow Treatment
Elbow tendonitis conventional treatments may not be effective. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections speed up the healing process and have become one of the most successful treatments for tennis elbow.
PRP therapy boosts the patient’s natural healing process to repair injured tissue. There are proteins, also known as growth factors, found in platelet-rich plasma that assist in the healing of the elbow tendons. PRP stimulates the release of anti-inflammatory growth factors and promotes collagen synthesis. According to research, tennis elbow patients who got PRP therapy improved by 71 percent in up to 24 weeks, compared to 56 percent in the control group. In addition, PRP has a reduced chance of side effects because it comes from the patient’s blood.
Recovery Time after PRP for Tennis Elbow pain
PRP-treated patients should expect some pain relief after 3-4 weeks and anticipate major improvements at 6-12 weeks. The patient’s healing rate may differ depending on the severity and duration of the condition. A study suggests that PRP was associated with more improvement in pain intensity and function in the long term compared to corticosteroid shots.
Why Choose PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich-plasma therapy is now a popular regenerative injection that is effective in healing tennis elbow. PRP treatment for lateral epicondylitis has various benefits. PRP therapy is a convenient, quick, in-office process that offers long-term relief for tennis elbow pain. In addition, PRP treatment uses your own blood, so there is no risk of allergic or immune reaction, and no non-natural substance is introduced into your body.
PRP injections stimulate the release of anti-inflammatory growth factors that boosts tendon regeneration. In addition, PRP therapy promotes collagen synthesis, which plays a major role in healing the damaged tendon.
PRP therapy is a game-changer in the medical field used to address musculoskeletal pain without opting for surgery. PRP therapy is a viable treatment for your tennis elbow condition. Please fill out the form below to contact our team.
Join our free webinar to learn about PRP, an innovative non-surgical treatment option for osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions.
Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.
Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.
Overuse of the tendons around the elbow while playing sports or in everyday activities often leads to painful tendon injuries. Our sports medicine experts can give you a proper diagnosis and recommend suitable treatment options.
Common tendon overuse conditions include tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. This results in degeneration or tearing of the tendons that attach to the elbow. Tennis elbow involves the tendons on the outside aspect of the elbow. Golfer’s elbow involves the tendons on the inside part of the elbow. Both conditions make gripping, lifting and other daily activities difficult.
Symptoms of tennis or golfer’s elbow include:
Pain in the wrist, elbow or forearm
Difficulty moving the arm
Muscle and tendon tenderness
Swelling over the elbow
Here are a few things that you can do at home for quick relief:
1. Resting the Arm
One of the best things that our patients can do to relieve the discomfort of tennis or golfer’s elbow is to let the elbow rest. Although it’s good to keep the area functional, you never want to push past any pain tolerance or cause more discomfort. Just go easy on the affected area and take the time to heal.
2. Apply Ice Packs
Apply ice packs to the affected arm several times a day to help minimize joint pain. You can use ready-made ice packs, or make your own with ice cubes or frozen peas and zippered plastic bags. Apply a thin cloth over the ice pack if it’s too cold.
3. Wear a Compression Bandage
Patients can also wrap the affected arm with a form-fitting compression bandage. The bandage provides support during injury. Make sure that the arm maintains regular blood flow to help the joint heal properly.
4. Massage the Arm
Massaging the painful arm gently can help reduce elbow pain naturally by minimizing inflammation, swelling and stiffness. A patient can perform this massage on their own, or they can visit a spa to have a therapist perform a massage.
5. Take Pain Relievers
By taking aspirin or other store-bought pain relievers, it is possible to have less pain while performing basic activities. However, we never want our patients becoming dependent on medication, so this should only be seen as a temporary relief method.
6. Applications of Heat
Some patients find pain relief with heat application. This is a great excuse for a hot bath or shower. Other alternatives include applying a heating pad or a warm moist cloth to the affected elbow.
In most cases, the pain from tennis or golfer’s elbow will decrease gradually in a few days, but if the pain persists or gets worse, then we recommend visiting our clinic in San Diego for a complete evaluation.
If it’s time to plan a course of treatment, call us today at 760-909-2355.