The most common cause of elbow pain is injury or overuse, often from sports, work-related overuse projects around your home, or a fall where you might land on or hit your elbow. Most blows to the elbow are not strong enough to fracture it. It is usually the ligaments and tendons that are injured. Depending on the injury or condition, prolotherapy for chronic elbow pain may give you permanent relief.
Ligament Injuries in the Elbow
These injuries may involve a tear in the annular ligament, which wraps around the radius bone to the humerus bone. These ligaments take all the strain when the lower arm turns. Twisting a screwdriver, turning a key or hitting a baseball are all activities that use the annular ligament.
Tendon Injuries in the Elbow
Elbow pain can also involve tendon injury, as in the cases of tennis or golfer’s elbow. In tennis elbow it is the extensor tendons which move the wrist up, that can be damaged. In golfer’s elbow it is the flexor tendons, that move the wrist down, that get injured. It is not rare for us to see elbow and hand pain that has been misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome involves the entrapment of the median nerve where the wrist and hand connect.
Other causes of elbow pain include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, elbow strains and infections.
Common symptoms of elbow injury are: pain, swelling, numbness, tingling in the arm, weakness, and changes in temperature or colour of the skin. A patient may not remember having a specific injury, especially if symptoms began gradually or during usual activities.
The Most Common Elbow Injuries
But eighty percent of chronic elbow pain is caused by spraining the annular ligament, which attaches the radius bone to the ulnar bone. Because of the heavy demands placed on the fingers and hands by performing repetitive tasks, the annular ligament is stressed daily and could become a source of chronic pain. Another source of chronic elbow pain is strain of the ulnar collateral ligament. This ligament supports the inside of the elbow and holds the ulnar bone to the humerus.
Conventional medical treatments may relieve the symptoms of elbow pain, but they do not remedy the underlying cause of the problem. That’s why many patients come to us tired of ‘managing’ their chronic pain with NSAID or narcotic medications, various therapies, and exercises. In many cases, these methods do not remove the cause of the pain.
Dr. Fields may be able to treat your chronic pain with prolotherapy. It just depends on the cause of your particular pain.
Most of the time, musculoskeletal pain is due to weakness in the ligaments, tendons and possibly cartilage. Prolotherapy can regenerate these damaged tissues and ultimately alleviate the problem causing the pain.
Prolotherapy works because it stimulates an inflammatory reaction in the body. Solutions are injected into the affected shoulder ligaments, tendons, or joints, which leads to local inflammation in that specific area. The localized inflammation triggers the deposition of new collagen, the material in which ligaments and tendons are made. New collagen shrinks as it matures and tightens the ligament that was injected, making it stronger.
Our goal at OrthoRegen is for our patients to have an active, healthy, pain-free life. Prolotherapy is a very safe, affordable option that allows you to keep working, training and living a normal life during the recovery process. Prolotherapy for chronic elbow pain is one of the few treatments that encourages movement post-treatment. Movement actually aids the healing process after Prolotherapy. By contrast, elbow surgery requires you reduce activity after treatment.
Would you like a second opinion before you have irreversible elbow surgery? Are you a candidate for Prolotherapy for your chronic elbow pain? The only way to know for sure is to get a consultation. Contact Us today for a consultation or call Dr. Fields at 310-453-1234.