Tennis elbow is caused by inflammation within the tendon that is located in the elbow region. When this condition occurs, it can be very difficult to use the arm without experiencing pain.
The condition of tennis elbow occurs due to excessive use of the arm, which causes the small tears to develop over time and allows the areas of the arm that are kept together by the elbow to break away from the support. Without treatment, it can lead to further tearing, and the tendon can actually rip completely.
While the use of surgery to repair the tendon was one a common method of treatment, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is now being used as a successful treatment for the condition, which allows the area to be free from pain, and also encourages healing of the tendon.
How PRP Therapy Works
PRP therapy is commonly referred to as platelet-rich plasma therapy, and it is used for tennis elbow, along with many other conditions that occur due to damage in the tendons, ligaments, and small tissues of the body.
When you have an injury occur to one of these areas, it is your body’s natural response to send out platelets to where the damage has occurred, which helps to encourage healing in the area. While this process is completely naturally by the body, it can take a long time for the tendon within the elbow to heal, and supportive gear should be used in order to support the elbow and keep the area from becoming even more damaged, which will often eliminate healing all together.
The use of PRP therapy involves taking a sample of your own blood, and then placing it inside of a machine, which works to split the different pieces of your blood apart and allows the platelets to be collected.
The platelets are collected, put into a syringe, and when they are in their compressed form, they are injected into the tendon within the elbow area and the surrounding tissue. By providing the arm with the highly concentrated amounts, the area will heal rapidly, and pain relief can be experienced right away.
PRP Duration and Effectiveness
When you use PRP for tennis elbow, it will provide you with pain relief within the first 48 hours, but many patients say that they experience pain relief immediately or within one or two hours. However, the length of time it takes to actually heal the area will vary, which is dependent upon the amount of damage that is present in the area, as well as how often the area is rested while in the healing process.
While many people can go back to their regular activities after having PRP therapy, it is essential that the arm does get the proper amount of rest in order for it to heal. Other than resting the arm, other forms of therapy may be used in order to help speed up the recovery process.
Physical therapy is a common form of treatment used along with PRP for tennis elbow, because it allows you to learn the stretches that are needed to strengthen the area within the elbow, which will promote healing and make the therapy as effective as possible.
Prior to having PRP therapy done, your Beverly Hills orthopedic doctor will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the therapy process. Generally, the therapy takes less than an hour to complete, and there is no recovery time needed after the therapy, which allows you to go back to your normal everyday activities right away.