Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy: “Inducing Inflammation Rather Than Suppressing It” YES!

This is one of many studies which seem to show evidence that PRP and ABI actually work in speeding the healing of Tennis Elbow and other chronic tendon injuries.

Conclusion: “PRP and autologous whole blood injections [ABI] are both effective methods to treat chronic Lateral Epicondylitis.”

(With PRP treatment coming out somewhat ahead in “relieving pain and improving function” at the 8-week followup.)

Unfortunately it looks like there was no control group (which would get an injection of simply salt water or nothing at all – as the placebo test / control) so it wasn't a “double blind” study.

(They had 40 patients with Tennis Elbow divided into 2 groups. One group got a PRP injection and the other got an autologous blood injection.)

Here's the section that I get excited about because it get's to the essential truth of the matter (that I've been “preaching” for years.)

“Epicondylitis was initially believed to be an inflammatory process but in 1979, it was described as the disorganization of normal collagen architecture...”

(Inflammation SHOULD be present for some time as the healing process initiates – but it's NOT there.)

“The effectiveness of oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, topical and injectable medications including corticosteroids and botulinum toxins, splinting, physical therapy, and iontophoresis has been evaluated in many studies. However, these traditional therapies do not alter the tendon's inherent poor healing properties secondary to poor vascularization.”

(These typical, common wisdom treatments – and let's not forget ICE – Don't work, because they can't overcome the tendon's poor blood supply and innate tendency to “resist” healing! And most of them inhibit inflammation.)

“Given the inherent nature of the tendon, new treatment options including platelets rich plasma (PRP), autologous blood, and prolotherapy are aimed at inducing inflammation rather than suppressing it.

Inducing inflammation – NOT suppressing it is the goal! Because all injured tissues NEED to go through the inflammation process in order to HEAL, and tendons too often fail to do so, slipping into stagnation and degeneration instead!

Again, my mantra: Stop chasing and fighting inflammation if you have Golfer's Elbow or Tennis Elbow (or any other Chronic tendon condition.)

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