Does PRP therapy help with tennis elbow?

Can tennis elbow be cured with PRP therapy (platelet rich plasma)?

PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy is used for various orthopaedic conditions such as tendinopathies (e.g. lateral epicondylitis, patellar tendinitis, shoulder syndrome, rotational cuff veins, osteoarthritis of the knee and avascular necrosis of the femoral head). 

The causes of tennis elbow

Probably one of the most common overuse syndromes is associated with excessive stretching of the wrist and is commonly called tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. It shows no signs of inflammation but degeneration of angiofibroblasts and collagen dysfunction. At the histological level, light microscopy shows both additional fibroblasts and blood vessels compatible with neangiogenesis. 

Probably one of the most common overuse syndromes is associated with excessive stretching of the wrist and is commonly called tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis. It shows no signs of inflammation but degeneration of angiofibroblasts and collagen dysfunction. At the histological level, light microscopy shows both additional fibroblasts and blood vessels compatible with neangiogenesis. 

People with tennis elbow often experience pain when they perform activities such as lifting their arms, lifting objects or other movements. They may get this condition after repetitive movements at work or at home, or when routinely lifting heavy objects. Usually instrumental professionals such as carpenters, butchers, painters and musicians feel the pain at some point in their career. 

Tennis elbow occurs when muscles and tendons that connect the arm and wrist become inflamed or torn. Tendons generally have a poor blood supply and therefore take longer to heal than other injuries. At the beginning of the problem, you may notice a dull ache on the outside of the arc. As the condition worsens, the swelling may make the area feel tender. 

It may be impossible to move even lighter objects. For example, lifting a pen or shaking your hands. In addition to tendonitis in the elbow, there may also be pain due to arthritis in the joint or carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. Pain in the wrist can radiate upwards to the elbow. 

Treatment options for tennis elbow

When you consult your doctor, he or she may perform diagnostic tests such as X-rays and resonances to determine the cause of the pain. Unless the condition is too severe, simple treatments will be enough to relieve it.

You may also want to stop any activities that put strain on your elbow. These actions should allow the tissue to heal. 

If the tendon tears, you may need to take more extensive measures. How:

  • Non-steroidal medication to relieve symptoms. 
  • Massage the area to stimulate circulation with anti-inflammatory gels and ointments. 
  • Physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles and promote healing. 
  • Ultrasound therapy, where sound waves are directed at the affected tissue to help it heal by reducing swelling. 
  • Cortisone injections into the elbow for numb pain. However, doctors now avoid recommending this option as steroids can weaken and tear the damaged tendon. 
  • Shock wave therapy for muscle healing. 
  • PRP injections

Does PRP therapy work for elbow tendonitis?

Initial treatment options include spreading the affected area and freezing the damaged area to reduce swelling. If these options are not suitable for you, your doctor may suggest performing a PRP on your tennis elbow.

Research from one study showed:

100 patients, 60 with tennis elbow and 40 with plantar fasciitis, who failed conservative treatment were treated with PRP. 

The doctors found that the patients who received PRP for tennis elbow continued to improve over the weeks

If you choose PRP therapy for tennis elbow, you can expect the pain to subside four weeks after your first session.

Your doctor may recommend that you have 3 to 4 sessions at 2-3 week intervals. This is because they can create a personalised treatment plan based on the severity of your pain and the extent of damage to your tissue. 

Mode of action of PRP therapy

PRP therapy for tennis elbow has effectively helped patients with pain and discomfort. This is because the PRP plasma contains a concentration of growth factors, mesenchymal stem cells, cytokines, chemoattractants, platelets and various other medical elements. The various types of growth factors include compounds that stimulate the formation of new collagen, which forms the basis of tissue. 

In addition, PRP develops new blood vessels in the broken tendon, giving it a fresh supply of nutrients to repair it. While most other treatment options only relieve pain, PRP repairs the tissue for long-term relief. 

PRP is promoted as an ideal autologous biological blood product that can be applied exogenously to various tissues and releases high levels of platelet-derived growth factors that improve the healing of wounds, bones and tendons. Platelets in PRP act as tissue sealants and begin to repair wounds. 

Conclusion - PRP therapy is a safe and effective treatment option

Local injection of autologous PRP shows promise as a treatment for tennis elbow and plantar fasciitis. It is safe (avoids surgical complications) and effectively relieves pain and improves function.

Because doctors make PRP plasma from each patient's blood, there is a rare chance that side effects will occur during treatment. While there is a possibility that the therapy may not work at all, you do not have to worry about side effects. 

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