Repetitive wrist and arm movements that strain the arms can cause tendonitis. One type of tendonitis is the tennis elbow, which affects the tendons located at the elbow’s outer side.
Activities like playing racquet sports, typing, or chopping damage the outside or lateral elbow tendons when done repeatedly or hastily. If your job or lifestyle requires these movements, you may be prone to developing tennis elbow or another arm tendonitis.
Read on to find out about the wide variety of treatment options for tennis elbow.
Most cases of tennis elbow resolve with conservative, non-surgical treatments. When you follow your doctor’s orders, tennis elbow can heal within 4 to 6 weeks.
Tennis elbow stems from tendon inflammation and can heal with home remedies like pain relievers, cold compresses, and activity modification.
You can take over-the-counter pain relief drugs such as naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Additionally, you can apply a cold compress to the painful area for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day. Doctors also recommend lifestyle modifications such as resting and reducing activities that repeatedly engage the elbow.
If your injury is sports-related, your doctor can assess your performance and limit movements or techniques that worsen your condition. That may involve changing your daily routine, adjusting your racket grip, or lifting weights to strengthen other structures in the arm.
Another treatment to relieve tennis elbow pain and stress is bracing. You may use a forearm strap, elbow splint, or wrist splint. Your doctor can perform bracing to immobilize the arm or support you when executing daily activities.
Other relief methods are PRP therapy, PPP therapy, and corticosteroid injections.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy And Platelet-Poor Plasma (PPP) Therapy
Regenerative medicine techniques, like PRP and PPP, helps facilitate the body’s natural healing.
PRP therapy involves taking a sample of your blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma from it using a centrifuge machine, and injecting the PRP into the treatment area, i.e., the elbow. PRP promotes better and faster healing, as growth factors and platelets enhance and speed up regenerative actions in the area.
With PPP therapy, your doctor also injects plasma into the treatment area, however, the substance is rich in fibrinogen, a chemical that speeds up the injury’s healing process, instead of platelets.
If common pain relievers don’t work, an orthopedic doctor may administer a corticosteroid injection into the elbow to alleviate pain. Relief can be instantaneous, last for a few months at a time, and reduce the need for oral pain relievers.
You can also undergo physical therapy to restore strength and flexibility after sustaining an injury such as a tennis elbow. Physical therapy involves performing controlled exercises and stretches under the supervision of a physical therapist to target and strengthen specific areas of the body. For instance, for the tennis elbow, your physical therapy routine may target muscles in the arm, so they can help support your movements instead of putting pressure on the elbow’s tendons.
Tennis elbow rarely requires surgery since the treatments mentioned above are usually sufficient for achieving relief. Doctors may recommend surgical procedures for chronic cases where symptoms persist even after 6 to 12 months of non-invasive treatments. The surgery is an outpatient operation, meaning you won’t have to stay overnight at the hospital.
The operation requires the orthopedic surgeon to create a small opening outside the elbow to remove damaged tissues, if necessary. They will then attach the broken tendons to the bone and close up the incision.
Your provider may perform this through an arthroscopy. This involves making tiny incisions in the elbow area, through which surgical tools are inserted to make repairs. Arthroscopy involves the use of an arthroscope, a small camera, which allows the doctor to see inside the elbow in real-time.
Tennis Elbow Treatment In Plantation, FL
Most cases of tennis elbow resolve with non-surgical techniques, such as home remedies, bracing, injections, and physical therapy. However, surgery may be the best option for severe cases. It involves the removal and reattachment of damaged tendons in the elbow.
The providers at Orthopaedic Hand and Arm Center are committed to providing quality treatment for your tennis elbow pain. Set up a consultation with Dr. Kinchelow by calling (888) 908-9036 or filling out our online appointment form. You can also visit our clinic in Miami Lakes. We look forward to serving you!