What is a magic pill? First of all it’s magic. Second, it makes something simple that otherwise would be very difficult.
Dr. Allan Mishra has tested a new treatment for tennis elbow that consists of injecting tennis elbow sufferers with platelet-rich plasma. After eight weeks, patients experienced 60% less pain. Those who did not receive the treatment experienced 16% less pain.
I have had a few bouts with tennis elbow, you can read about them here. The first time I had to stop playing tennis for ten months. A year and a half later I had to stop again for five months.
I am the queen of quick fixes. I injured my back in 1996 and went from chiropractor to chiropractor, each one promising to fix me up as good as new. I finally realized that you can go to a million chiropractors but if you walk out the door with the same movement habits you walked in with, your spine just goes back to its old pattern and you are in pain all over again. If I wanted to be free of pain, I had to change the way I moved.
For instance, if you bend at the waist instead of at the hips, there is no hinge at the waist by the way, you will eventually get lower back pain. You can take all the pain pills in the world but if you keep doing the same thing you’ll get the same pain.
If you hit the ball in a way that hurts your elbow and you don’t change the way you hit the ball, tennis elbow will only recur and recur and recur.
Tennis elbow is not as bad as a severely injured back but you probably will have to change your tennis stroke. Not only that, but if you have tennis elbow you usually have scar tissue. If the scar tissue is not directly treated, it will not improve so resting your elbow usually doesn’t help.
After wasting a few months resting my elbow, I finally went to the UCLA Sports Medicine Center who sent me to physical therapist, Andy Choi. He treated the scar tissue with ultrasound and gave me stretching and strengthening exercises. Just as importantly, he turned out to be the best swing coach I’ve ever had.
No doubt individuals have different levels of joint health. A platelet-rich injection might be sufficient to allow some tennis elbow sufferers to get back on the court. But for most people there is no magic pill. If you hit the ball in a way that hurts your elbow and you don’t change the way you hit the ball, tennis elbow will only recur and recur and recur.