Elbow pain is a common musculoskeletal condition experienced by adults. It is particularly common for athletes or individuals who work at a job that requires repetitive movements of the hand, wrist and elbow. Often elbow pain is the result of inflammation to one or both of the elbows’ tendons.
Sufferers of elbow tendon pain understand that everything from work tasks and household chores to participating in sports can become a painful chore. This type of elbow pain is often referred to as “tennis elbow” (lateral epicondylitis) because of how common it is for tennis players and other athletes.
There are many potential causes of elbow pain with overuse being the most common. That is why it’s important for patients to visit a healthcare provider or specialist for a full evaluation. An accurate diagnosis is key to establishing which type of elbow joint pain treatment is likely to have a lasting and positive impact on a patient’s condition. Tennis elbow relief is possible for most adults but every situation is different.
The following symptoms are a sign that you may suffer from tennis elbow:
- Carrying items becomes difficult and painful
- Elbow pain is common at night or in a resting state
- It is difficult to straighten or bend one or both arms
- Swelling or bruising is evident around the elbow
Understanding Elbow Pain
The elbow is a unique part of everyone’s body in that it has more pressure placed on it than most other joints. It functions like a hinge, allowing an arm to move forward and backward without significant restrictions. The elbow also twists inward and outward, allowing an arm to rotate. This varied movement requires assistance from a variety of other structures near the elbow, including:
- Muscles above and below the elbow attached via tendons, which allow the joint to flex, extend and rotate the arm
- Strong connective tissue provides flexibility and stability in the joint
- A small fluid sack at the tip of the elbow, called a bursa, provides cushioning and protects the joint, tendons and ligaments from irritation or damage
- Blood vessels in the region ensure there is always an adequate blood supply for movement
Long-term Issues Can Arise From Untreated Elbow Pain
While elbow pain or tennis elbow is most often a result of repetitive motion injuries, the damage caused can be significant, resulting in long-term issues if not properly treated.
One potential issue is bursitis. This is where the bursa providing cushioning to your elbow fills with fluid and becomes swollen from repetitive movements, causing redness and sensitivity. Tennis elbow treatment may also be needed because of damage from trauma associated with a fall.
The most common cause of elbow pain is tendonitis. This occurs when tendons in your elbow become damaged from overuse. Many people refer to tendonitis as “tennis elbow” because it develops on the outside of the elbow. “Golfer’s elbow” is a type of tendonitis affecting the inside of the elbow. Both of these tendon problems require some type of treatment to help patients live an active life.
Finally, arthritis can develop from inflammation of the elbow joint, causing pain and stiffness which gets worse over time. While these three issues are often painful and can be difficult to treat, even more severe injuries such as nerve issues, fractures, sprains and strains, infections and more can have an even greater adverse, long-term impact.
Non-Drug Related Elbow Pain Treatment Options Are Available
Tennis elbow pain is a chronic problem for millions of Americans. It can also be difficult to treat. While there is no single best treatment for tennis elbow, a wide range of non-drug treatment solutions utilizing regenerative medicine injections and other methods are available to provide tennis elbow relief. Potential options include:
This is a safe, effective and non-surgical treatment for chronic pain using injections to jumpstart healing. Prolotherapy has been used for decades on several types of musculoskeletal injuries. It is considered more of a long-term solution, rather than a short-term repair, and is designed to strengthen these connections and thereby eliminate or decrease pain.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP is an innovative, all-natural regenerative treatment option for tendon and ligament injuries as well as joint pain. It is a safe nonsurgical approach that utilizes the proteins and growth factors contained within platelets and plasma from your own blood. These PRP treatments do not contain any drugs, steroids, narcotics or NSAIDs, are performed in the office, and do not require surgery, allowing the body’s own natural healing powers to recover and restore to health.
Another type of elbow joint pain treatment is Prolozone therapy, a homeopathic/oxygen-ozone injection technique that can support a range of musculoskeletal and joint pain. This includes chronic neck and back pain, rotator cuff injuries, degenerative and arthritic hips and knees, degenerated discs, and shoulder and elbow pain. It is possible to include injection therapy of collagen producing substances such as vitamins/minerals and dextrose along with ozone gas which can reconstruct damaged or weakened connective tissue in and around joints.
Stem cell therapy, using adult stem cells that are available in the individual’s own bone marrow is also available to treat this condition. This is referred to as autologous stem cell therapy where stem cells used in a person’s treatment are taken from the person’s own body, not from a donor. Using a patient’s own stem cells for the procedure helps reduce the patient’s risk of infection and eliminates the possibility of immune rejection.
Stem cell therapy, as a method of elbow pain treatment, is conducted under ultrasound guidance and in an outpatient or office setting. Injecting these concentrated regenerative cells into an area of a patient’s body helps launch the body’s ability to heal itself and reduce pain. These non-drug injections can be given independent of or in conjunction with other regenerative procedures.
Ask a Healthcare Expert About the Best Elbow Pain Treatment For You
The first step to treatment is to diagnose the cause of elbow pain. Once a diagnosis is established, the experts at Krasnick Regenerative Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan will review your elbow pain treatment options. Set up an appointment to address your tennis elbow pain by filling out our online form or calling 734-585-5653. There is no charge for a consultation. By taking steps to relieve your elbow pain with the help of Krasnick Regenerative Medicine, you can live your life to its fullest!