What is Elbow Pain?
At Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our goal is to diagnose your issue properly and provide alternative treatment options that can potentially alleviate your pain and provide lasting results. It is usually felt on the inside or outside of your elbow with pain levels rising at the end of each day. Elbow pain also typically causes stiffness or a decreased range of motion in the elbow, which can prevent patients from performing normal, everyday activities. Our experienced team, led by Dr. Christie Lehman, is passionate about the needs of our Asheville, NC patients. After a thorough assessment, we can effectively diagnose and treat virtually any elbow condition.
"The ARO staff and practice are Special from the Front Desk to the treatment rooms. I first approached Dr. Lehman with numerous orthopedic issues. She has examined, evaluated, and described viable treatments for each, beginning with the least invasive. I was able to choose from her recommendations based on my preferences and circumstances. I am still a work in progress and experiencing excellent improvement ! All of that is great. But, it is the Caring which guides the whole process that makes Dr. Lehman and the experience So Special !!"- T.D. / Google / May 11, 2021
"Dr Lehaman takes pride in her practice . I can not reccomend her enough. She takes pride in her work and wants her patients to feel better. I wish I would have met her 2 years ago before all the other treatment I went through. I was so much better in 3 weeks and could use my arm again after 2 years of not being able to... I would give a 100 stars if I could"- D.S. / Google / Feb 17, 2021
"Had injection for Achilles pain with great results. Dr. Lehman immediately connects with you as a team player to get you well, kind, caring, knowledgeable, schedules her time as if you're the only patient in the office, not in a hurry, answers any and all questions, explains procedures and options, doesn't sell anything, just potential solutions to your pain, wish more family and internal docs would recommend Dr. Lehman as an option before recommending surgical specialists. Also a shout out to Jennifer in the front office for her efficiency in keeping things running smoothly. Thank you Dr. Lehman...grateful for you and your expertise!!"- R.W. / Google / Jan 19, 2021
"Dr. Lehman is the reason my 99 year old mother is still able to keep walking, relatively pain free. Because of her age, no one will perform surgery on my mothers knees. Dr. Lehman meet with mom about 3 years to discuss what can actually be done to help mom with her painful knees. Since that time, mom has been able to get fairly long term relief from the treatments Dr. Lehman has offered. Thank you Dr. Lehman, we owe you so much!!"- N.A. / Google / Jan 19, 2021
"Excellent treatment and results, Had 3 rotator cuff tears which Dr. Lehman treated with plasma and stem cell injections. 4 months later no pain and full range of motion! Much better option than surgery! Highly recommend Dr. Lehman and her expertise."- Anonymous / Vitals / Dec 05, 2020
What Are Tennis Elbow and Golfer's Elbow?
Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow are two of the most common elbow conditions. The former is an overuse injury that results in pain over the lateral, or outside, aspect of the elbow that worsens when squeezing objects. Although it’s quite common among tennis players, it can also affect other athletes and individuals as well. Golfer’s elbow, on the other hand, is similar, but occurs at the medial, or inside, aspect of the elbow. Pain may be worse with moving the wrist up and down.
How is Elbow Pain Diagnosed?
When you arrive for the evaluation of your elbow pain, our priority will be to determine exactly what’s causing your discomfort. To that end, we’ll begin by asking you detailed questions about your symptoms – including when they first appeared and if any activities seem to make them worse. From there, we’ll perform a physical examination of the joint, evaluating the area for tenderness, pain, and swelling. In-office ultrasound evaluation will be performed and consideration for further imaging - possibly Xray or MRI if needed.
HOW is Elbow Pain Treated?
Treatment options depend upon the severity of the injury, past medical history, access to medical care, and your physician’s preferences. In general, it is always best to start with conservative therapy. Treatment options include:
- CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT: This includes activity modification, ice, heat, and physical therapy. Nitric oxide patches have been shown to be helpful as well.
- MEDICATIONS: When conservative treatment options fail, NSAIDs and steroid injections are often recommended. The toxic effects of NSAIDs or anti-inflammatories are discussed in depth here. Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can provide short term benefits but at a cost. A study here looked at data from many other studies and showed that steroid (cortisone) shots may actually make tennis elbow worse in the long run.
- SURGERY: Many different surgical options exist depending upon the severity of the injury including stripping away a portion of the tendon sheath to promote healing. The goal is to clean out any dead tissue as well as repair any tendon tears. In most cases, this should be the option of last resort.
- PRP SHOWN TO BE BETTER THAN STEROIDS: PRP injections have been shown in multiple clinical studies to be more effective than steroids (see review study here). Dr. Lehman is an expert in the treatment of Tennis and Golfers elbow. Under ultrasound guidance, PRP is injected into the areas of injury and tears to reduce swelling, promote healing, and accelerate recovery. See my Facebook post here.
Alleviate Your Pain
Elbow pain can be debilitating. Treatment options include conservative care, medications, steroid injections, and surgery. PRP is an effective, non-surgical option that is becoming the standard of care for tennis elbow and avoids the risks of surgery, and extensive rehabilitation. In addition, PRP injections avoid the risk of viral infection associated with operating rooms, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers. Don’t let elbow pain keep you on the sidelines. Let your own cells heal your ongoing elbow pain.
If you have elbow pain and are interested in effective, noninvasive, and exciting new treatments, request an appointment with ARO.
Supplements for Healthy Joints
Learn Dr. Lehman's preferred dietary supplements for joint health.Read
PRP Preferred Treatment Over Steroid Injection For Tennis Elbow
A recently published article looked at 8 studies that looked at the effects of corticosteroid injection.Read
New Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Study On Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
Gosens & Sluimer from the Netherlands, just reported on a prospective, double blinded, randomized study comparing PRP to cortisone injections.Read