You noticed pain and discomfort in the area of your elbow. Maybe it got so bad that you could barely make a fist or straighten your arm. When you visited your doctor, you were shocked to hear the diagnosis: “tennis elbow?”
Even if you’ve never been a tennis player, you can still develop this excruciating condition. And while many people find relief with several conservative treatments, there are times when chronic tennis elbow will require more help.
Dr. Navin Mahallavaram — and the rest of us here at The Spine and Pain Center of California — want to help you feel your best and live free from pain. That’s why we offer one of the best treatment options for chronic tennis elbow: PRP injections.
Tennis elbow — so named because it can occur due to gripping one’s tennis racket during a swing — is a kind of tendonitis. The tendons are tissues that connect the muscles to the bones in your body. The ones affected by tennis elbow are in the lower part of your arm.
Tendonitis associated with this kind of elbow pain can occur with any type of repetitive motion that puts stress on these tendons. Many sports, including weight lifting, racquetball, and fencing, can cause tennis elbow. But so can other non sports activities such as typing, knitting, and carpentry work.
Recovering from tennis elbow is possible, but people heal at different rates. It’s important to ensure that you rest from your regular activities while healing and avoid jumping back in before you are properly recovered.
So the good news is this: tennis elbow can be treated. Many people start with milder treatments and find success. For example, basic treatments for tennis elbow include:
In many cases, physical therapy should be used with these milder treatments to create the best results. Range of motion exercises and strengthening the muscles and tendons can help to recover the abilities that pain has lessened.
Still, many people find these basic treatments do not work, and their pain continues unabated. In this case, many other treatments might be considered, including surgery or steroid shots. But these treatments (while sometimes effective) are invasive and may come with a host of potential side effects.
So what alternative options do you have? One is PRP therapy. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, a substance that is harvested from your own blood. The blood is simply placed into a centrifuge, and the PRP is separated. The PRP is then injected into the site of the pain.
PRP is a regenerative medicine that helps boost healing and tissue growth in the damaged tendons. Dynamic ultrasound is also used to ensure that the injection is being made in exactly the right area for maximum effectiveness. In many cases, two injections separated by a few weeks is a good treatment plan for those suffering from tennis elbow.
Treating chronic tennis elbow with PRP is an excellent alternative to other options because it causes almost no side effects and is minimally invasive. One study from 2013 and another from 2018 found PRP to be an effective treatment for chronic tennis elbow.
If you’re suffering from tennis elbow, you know the pain and discomfort can be unbearable. So don’t you think it’s time to seek a treatment that is both effective and unlikely to cause side effects, allowing you to get back to doing what you love most?
Call to speak to someone in either our Fremont or Pleasanton, CA to book an appointment, or you can book online today.