A Holistic Approach to Tennis Elbow
- Posted on: Oct 1 2020
Lateral epicondylitis, otherwise known as tennis elbow, is a common condition in which a person has pain on the outside portion of the elbow, and its not only tennis players that develop this condition. The pain keeps one from being able to grip anything, and affects people that work repetitively with their hands, or participates in an activity that requires gripping a racket, a baseball bat or weights at a gym.
The underlying cause of the pain is due to inflammation where the muscles of the forearm attach to the elbow and spasm or hypertonicity of those muscles. For many people that experience this pain, rest from the activities that aggravate the pain and ice where there is pain will often be enough to resolve this condition in about two weeks. But for some people with this condition the pain does not go away with just ice and avoidance of aggravating activities, these people need treatment, and there are various treatment options.
- Anti- inflammatory approach; The use of non steroidal anti- inflammatory medications often are of benefit, but these medications are known to cause GI and kidney issues. A more natural non toxic anti-inflammatory approach would be the use of curcumin at 750mg dailty along with a topical anti-inflammatory crème such as Voltaren gel often works best.
- Acupuncture with electrical stimulation; often the single most effective treatment that works when other approaches have failed. Try 6-8 treatments, if it does not work it will not hurt. Acupuncture is often paid for by insurance.
- Physical Therapy; Often the first modality that is recommended by conventionally practicing physicans. The focus here is the muscles of the forearm and their insertion on the bone.
- Platelet Rich Plasma Injections; also known as PRP. Platelets are obtained from the patients own blood and are injected into the elbow where the forearm muscles insert. The platelets cause a migration of stem cells to the area of inflammation and have growth factors which stimulate healing. If this therapy does not work it causes no harm, except to your wallet as insurance does not yet pay for this highly effective approach.
- Steriodal injections. This should be considered only when other approaches have failed, as steroids often work, but often the effect is short lived and is not healthy for the area that it is injected.
The very best approach in this often treatment resistant chronic condition is that of a multidisciplinary one, involving a combination of the above mentioned treatment modalities.
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