Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, is a fairly painful condition characterized by inflammation at and around the elbow joint due to repetitive arm movements.
This injury can be fairly common for athletes (tennis players and golfers especially), but it can even have severe effects for any individual who might use their arm in a similar motion consistently.
While conventional treatments such as rest, physical therapy, and medication provide relief for many, some cases prove to be resistant to these approaches.
However, there is good news! In recent years, tissue allograft therapy has emerged as a potential alternative for treating tennis elbow, harnessing the power of regenerative medicine to promote healing and tissue repair.
In this article, we dive into how this might be accomplished and why you just might want to consider tissue allograft therapy as a potential solution to eliminating tennis elbow symptoms.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Intro To Tennis Elbow
Like we mentioned earlier, tennis elbow is an inflammation of the joint within your elbow which can cause radiating pain when you straighten or extend your arm fully.
Tennis elbow can be triggered by more than just playing tennis, you can get symptoms from a variety of repetitive activities like:
- Using a hammer frequently
- Playing tennis
- Turning a screwdriver
- And more
You’ll need to speak with your personal physician, but most symptoms for tennis elbow include:
- Mild elbow pain around the elbow which gradually gets worse
- Pain when extending your elbow
- Weakness in your grip
- Pain when squeezing objects
Traditional Treatments For Tennis Elbow
Conventional treatments for tennis elbow are almost always non-surgical, and roughly 80% of the cases can be successfully treated without surgical intervention. Most of the time, you will be prescribed to follow these treatment options:
- RICE – rest, ice, compression, and elevation which is helpful for providing a reduction in inflammation within the tendon.
- Physical Therapy – a physical therapist will use different exercises to strengthen your muscles and promote additional healing.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – these can include medications like aspirin and ibuprofen which are known to help reduce inflammation.
- Steroid Injections – a way of directly introducing corticosteroids into the muscle or tendon to help reduce inflammation.
These treatment plans can be very effective, however the limitation is they’re only treating for the relief of symptoms.
What if there was a process wherein the body’s natural healing ability could be amplified to help produce muscle and tendon healing from within?
If this piques your curiosity, we welcome you to the world of regenerative medicine.
Exploring Tissue Allograft Therapy For Tennis Elbow
Tissue allograft therapy (more often recognized as regenerative medicine) is the process of restoring normal function to damaged tissues.
The goal of regenerative cell therapy is to utilize the body’s own healing process, and amplify it with the help of a couple different methods (more on that in a second) for greater healing than what’s occurring currently within the patient. This goes against the grain of traditional medicine which seeks to treat symptoms of disease.
Tissue allograft therapy has been studied for musculoskeletal disorders in a wide variety of studies and is being utilized by many professional sports teams currently.
Broadly speaking, there are 2 major therapies within regenerative medicine which can be used for treatment (even in conjunction with traditional approaches) for tennis elbow. They include:
- Tissue Allograft Therapy
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
How Does Regenerative Medicine Help Tennis Elbow?
Tissue allograft therapy is still in the process of gaining additional research to solidify the current findings with patients, but it has already shown recognizable patterns for patients looking to get additional support for their tennis elbow condition.
The two main reasons why you want to consider tissue allograft therapy for tennis elbow include:
At the end of the day, tennis elbow comes from runaway inflammation within the elbow joint. This occurs at and around the tendon connecting the muscles to the elbow.
One of the primary effects noted for tissue allograft therapy is the management of inflammation is improved by the patient. Tissue allograft therapy introduces growth factors and cytokines into the damaged area which appear to have a deregulation of pro-inflammatory signals and an upregulation of anti-inflammatory signals within the joint and surrounding tissue.
By reducing the inflammation, the body will begin to heal and restore the original function of the tissue. This ultimately produces healing for the patient experiencing tennis elbow.
In a significant amount of studies, physicians have noticed what appears to be a signal being sent by tissue allografts to the surrounding damaged tissue to begin the healing process. It appears this communication is critical to wound response, but even more important to tissue regeneration.
As you can see, exploring tissue allograft therapy for a potential treatment option could provide significant healing. Don’t misunderstand us, conventional methods have been effective for a large percentage of patients, however, for those individuals experiencing chronic tennis elbow, it might be time for a new approach to healing. Tissue allograft therapy provides a promising path to addressing the root causes of tennis elbow, and most importantly alleviating painful symptoms with restoration of damaged tissue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Tissue Allograft Therapy Work For Tendonitis?
Yes, there’s good evidence stem cell therapy provides help in healing damaged tissue (particularly musculoskeletal tissue).
Who’s A Good Candidate For Tissue Allograft Therapy For Tennis Elbow?
You’re a good candidate for tissue allograft therapy if you’re in relatively good health, and experiencing tennis elbow.