A FIX FOR TENNIS ELBOW
Tennis elbow can be a debilitating problem for the player and one that is even harder to treat by the sports medicine specialist. New research is showing the benefits of eccentric exercises for chronic tendonopathies such as tennis elbow, runner's/jumper's knee, and achilles tendonitis. These exercises are thought to facilitate tendon healing instead of just treating the symptoms with anti-inflammatory medication. Other treatments such as dynamic myofascial release, augmented soft tissue mobilization, and platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) are showing some promising results as well. What the New York Times article failed to mention is the relationship between kinetic chain dysfunctions and tennis elbow. Often times, tennis elbow is the result of problems somewhere else such as the shoulder or hips. Decreased shoulder flexibility and/or lack of core strength can be cause of elbow pain. It's like driving a car that is out of alignment, the tires wear unevenly until the alignment is corrected. So besides starting the above mentioned eccentric exercise program, make sure to see a sports medicine specialist to assess for any kinetic chain dysfunctions that may be the underlying cause of tennis elbow.
I'm sure everyone is curious of this experimental treatment that pro athletes are flying to Germany to have done. It is a Similar treatment to PRP (platelet rich plasma) that is done here in the states. PRP is used to stimulate healing of tissue where Bynum's therapy, Regenokine or Orthokine treatment, is in theory blocking inflammation through the infanti-inflammatory cytokine IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). The hope is that it can alter the inflammatory response and limit cartilage erosion present in osteoarthritis. To date, there only a few studies that support this claim, and no longer term trials supporting its use. Insurance does not pay for either PRP or Regenokine/Orthokine treatments which cost hundreds (PRP) to thousands of dollars (Regenokine). There are other treatment options that are covered by insurance and have research to support their use, such as viscosupplementation. It's important to discuss your options with an orthopedic or sports medicine specialist as newer isn't always better and potential downsides do exist for some treatments, the least of which is the money you've spent for a treatment that didn't work.