Monday, October 23, 2017

Is PRP Effective for Treating Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow (also known as lateral epicondylitis) is a painful condition caused by repetitive movements of the arm or wrist, such as swinging a tennis racket or painting a wall. This causes the tendons to develop small tears, leading to inflammation and causing you pain.

Unfortunately, the nature of this injury means it can stick around for months. Injured tendons tend to heal very slowly, because they don’t receive as much oxygen as other parts of the body. Oxygen is transported through blood, so areas like the skin, which has plenty of blood vessels, receive enough oxygen for fast healing. Tendons, by contrast, don’t contain many blood vessels. As a result, they heal especially slowly—meaning tennis elbow can take anywhere from six months to one year to heal.

Many patients affected by tennis elbow have found that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has helped speed up their recovery time. This treatment is safe, minimally-invasive, and can provide lasting relief from pain.

How can PRP treat tennis elbow?

PRP provides oxygen to the body’s tendons by injecting blood platelets into the site of the injury. Platelets are small blood vessels that play an important role in the body’s natural healing process, so introducing them into the site of an injury can help stimulate and speed up recovery. It also promotes healing by supplying oxygen, through blood vessels, to the injured tendon. In other words, PRP takes blood platelets from another part of the patient’s body and transfers them to the injured area—in this case, directly to the damaged tendon in the elbow.

Since it relies on stimulating the body’s natural healing process, PRP doesn’t usually bring immediate pain relief. But over time, PRP can significantly lessen pain and increase physical function. For many patients, it also speeds up the healing process, bringing at least partial recovery after about six months—as opposed to the one-year recovery time that most patients experience.

For short-term tendon injuries, treatment is often not necessary. In the first few weeks, painkillers, rest, and some gentle exercises are usually the most effective treatments for tennis elbow. If the pain persists and the tendon appears to be degenerating, then PRP may be a viable treatment option.

PRP treatment has proven effective for many patients with tennis elbow and other joint and tendon injuries. If you would like to learn more about our alternative, cutting-edge techniques like PRP, contact us at 201-288-7246 today.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

4 Indoor Exercises to Relieve Your Joint Pain this Winter

As winter approaches, you probably find yourself spending more time indoors. Blame it on the weather: it’s just no fun to be outside in the cold wind, rain, or snow.

When you live with joint pain, the bad weather can leave you feeling more stiff and sore than ever, so getting out and exercising might not feel like a pleasant experience. But exercise plays a large part in relieving joint pain and helping you manage your condition, making it more important than ever to stay active during the colder months.

Luckily, there are still plenty of exercises you can do indoors, either in your own home or at your local facilities. Here are four to get you started!

1. Stationary cycling

Indoor stationary cycling is great for relieving knee and hip pain. Riding a bike strengthens your quadricep muscles, stabilizing the knees and allowing them to better absorb shock. And unlike some physical activities, it doesn’t require too much twisting in the knee joints, which can be damaging.

Bicycling outdoors over uneven terrain can actually be harmful to your knees and hips, so indoor cycling is an ideal alternative for people with joint pain. You’ll improve your strength and flexibility, and stay dry and toasty.

2. Indoor swimming and water aerobics

If you have access to an indoor pool, swimming and doing water aerobics are fun ways to manage joint pain. The water’s buoyancy takes stress off your joints, making pool exercises low-impact and less strenuous on the joints. If the pool is heated, this can also help soothe your pain.

Swimming strengthens your back muscles as well, helping to relieve back pain. This can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep, so you’ll feel the benefits of your exercise for days to come.

3. Yoga

Practicing yoga regularly can increase your flexibility, reduce stiffness, and relieve pain in the joints. Before beginning a yoga class, tell the instructor about any joint pain you’re experiencing so they can help you avoid poses that might put damaging pressure on your joints.

Yoga classes are a great way to meet new people and socialize while staying active. And between classes, you can practice your poses at home whenever you feel stiff.

4. Walking indoors or on a treadmill

Walking around inside a mall, museum, or art gallery can be just as beneficial as walking outdoors. If you’re growing bored of the same surroundings, an indoor walk gets you out of the house and lets you enjoy yourself, all while helping to relieve your stiffness and pain.

If you prefer exercising at home or at the gym, treadmills allow you to vary the intensity of your exercise by changing the incline or speeding up your pace. This is a good way to gradually ramp up your workout to get the full benefit from it.

Achieving long-term relief from joint pain

Before beginning any new exercise regime, talk to your doctor to find out what’s best for you. If you feel sudden pain or discomfort while exercising, it’s best to slow down or stop for the time being, rather than causing yourself an injury.

While exercise is a vital step in managing joint pain and stiffness, alternative treatments like stem cell therapy have helped many patients experience long-term relief. To find out more, contact us today.