Tennis elbow is one of the most common complaints adults face at some point in their lives. Contrary to the term, tennis elbow may develop due to any type of overuse of the arm. Golfers get it. Bowlers get it. Even people who don’t regularly engage in a sport may develop the symptoms of tennis elbow. Here, we discuss why this condition occurs and how platelet-rich plasma is helping our clients regain comfort and mobility.
The Anatomy of Tennis Elbow
The anatomy of the elbow joint must be discussed to explain tennis elbow. This joint is the meeting point of three different bones: the humerus of the upper arm, the radius of the forearm, and the ulna, also part of the forearm. These bones are surrounded by several tendons, ligaments, and muscles, each of which works to stabilize the joint. Sometimes, the extensors, tendons in the forearm, become inflamed. This results in the symptoms we refer to as tennis elbow.
The symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Pain at the outer aspect of the elbow
- Decreased grip strength
- Pain that worsens when gripping an object
Diagnosing Tennis Elbow
To begin forming a diagnosis, we conduct a consultation to learn about the patient’s lifestyle. Discussion may inform us of a known injury or it may provide clues to potential overuse injury. A physical examination of the elbow joint includes the patient performing certain movements, such as straightening their wrist against resistance. If this type of movement causes pain, we have a good indicator of tennis elbow.
Imaging can also play an important role in accurately diagnosing tennis elbow. Musculoskeletal ultrasound can provide dynamic imaging of the elbow joint to assess the extent of damage and tear, if any, that has occurred.
Treating Tennis Elbow with Platelet-Rich Plasma
We are interested in developing a custom treatment plan for each patient that can deliver long-lasting relief and restoration of optimal function. This typically begins with regenerative therapy like platelet-rich plasma. This substance is contained in the patient’s blood.
Our blood is made of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets are the body’s regenerative cells that release over 1500 growth factors, proteins that are vital to tissue repair and wound healing. This is the premise of PRP therapy, to stimulate the body’s natural healing process by injecting platelet-rich plasma into the injured area. Doing so may quickly reduce pain and inflammation and, over time, facilitate long-term healing.
The use of platelet-rich plasma has become increasingly popular. Our team has spent years vigorously studying PRP therapy. Our research has taught us that muscle, tendon, and joints respond best to specific PRP formulations. It is these formulations that are routinely used for our clients.
The body has an inherent ability to heal itself. In many cases of tennis elbow, this is a real possibility. To accelerate joint and tendon repair, schedule a consultation in our Los Angeles office at (310) 896-4117.