Yes, you read that right: Billions of dollars are being spent on elbow injuries, (Tennis Elbow in particular) globally every single year! And it’s on the rise in both prevalence (more injuries) and treatment costs.
Market research / data-gathering firms giddily announce that these treatment costs are projected to reach 10 BILLION dollars annually by 2022!
(But how much of that is spent on “symptom chasing” as opposed to truly treating the underlying injury?)
MedGadget.com reveals that:
“According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) tennis elbow was prevalent in 1%-3% of UK population in 2012. It has been observed that people above 60 years are more afflicted with elbow pain.”
“Therefore, rapidly growing geriatric population and increasing incidence of arm fracture due to accidents are expected to drive growth of the elbow lesion market in the near future.”
Read more about the “Elbow Lesion Market” – Via medgadget.com
Sadly, it appears that most of these billions are being spent on Cortisone Shots and NSAID type Anti-inflammatory medications.
This is particularly unfortunate, since these drugs only “treat” (suppress) the symptoms of Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow and do nothing whatsoever to treat the injuries themselves.
“Among the treatment types, Corticosteroid injections segment is the most prominent market in terms of revenue.”
“However, non-surgical therapies such as platelet rich plasma (PRP), splint elbow brace, ice packs and others will take approximately 40% market share in 2015.”
“It is reported that around 95% of the total tennis elbow patients get relief from these therapies and do not need to opt for other medications and or surgical procedures.”
read more at techannouncer.com
The article also states that the effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy is being investigated as a possible treatment for a variety of tendon injuries.
For a detailed look at the question of how effective that procedure is looking at the moment, see my article on Platelet Rich Plasma for the treatment of Tennis Elbow here
Despite the claim that “95% of tennis elbow patients get relief from non-surgical therapies” many of those Tennis Elbow injury sufferers are suffering for up to a year.
For the +/- 5% who end up facing – if not choosing surgery – there’s a tough decision to be made. And if that’s something you’re starting to wonder about yourself, see my article about surgery for Tennis Elbow:
When is it ‘time’ to start thinking about surgery? – Five key things to consider
Much of this data seems to be drawn from ‘Credence Research’ whose data suggests that “more than 30 billion over the counter tablets that are annually being sold in the U.S.” (Of NSAID type Anti-inflammatory medications for these kinds of injuries and others.)
And they inform us that not only is this a “Western” problem, (as we might naturally otherwise imagine) demand for Tennis Elbow treatment is projected to increase in emerging economies, like China:
“In the next few years the demand for tennis elbow treatment is expected to increase significantly in the emerging economies such as China and Canada.”
“Geriatric population is growing with the rising global population, and rising sports events are leading to increase in number of sports injuries and these are expected to boost the industry in the coming years.”
Read more at the source here: Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) Market By Treatment Type – (Credenceresearch.com)
I have had tennis elbow in both Arms for a year. I tried the traditional treatment with no relief. I started your class last fall. Felt better in 2 weeks, but now it’s back. I read your emails about it starting in your muscles and I believe my issue is in the forearm and now the wrists. I try to continue with the classes, but I find it hard to keep going due to burning pain. I’m thinking of trying an
” iTENS ” device to manage pain so I can continue with the classes. What do you think of these devices? Go to iTENS.com
Allen Willette, Tennis Elbow Tutor says
Sorry to hear you’re having problems again, Brenda.
Did you continue to do the rehab / strengthening exercises after you felt better?
That’s a common issue: People often don’t continue with the exercises (or even start them sometimes, because I tell them they’re not the priority at first) but they are very important in the long run, especially once symptoms have subsided.
I don’t really think much of TENS units for this kind of thing, sorry.
Have you tried using heat?
Tennis elbow – where do I start with this one.
5 years I’ve had it in my right arm ( and a small amount in my left)
I refused to have cortisone shots.
I’ve iced, heated, stretched, braced, massaged, acupunctured, shockwave therapy and 5 weeks ago did prp – no improvement
I don’t have pain in my elbow per se, it’s the forearm muscle cramps and tingling and numbness in my hands and fingers, not sure what else to do with it 🙁
Allen Willette, Tennis Elbow Tutor says
Ron, I’m sorry to hear you’ve been struggling with that for five years! I’m curious, how did your tendons look to the Doctor who did your PRP injections? (They normally guide the injections using real time Sonography and usually use it to “look” at the area before doing the procedure, in my understanding – Was there evidence of a lot of degeneration or any possible signs of tearing?)
The other thing I’m wondering about are those tingling and numbness symptoms in your hands – Those are not typical symptoms of Tennis Elbow but could suggest a nerve issue – The Radial Nerve, if those symptoms are to the back of the hand and in the wrist extensors / “Tennis Elbow muscles”
“What did my tendons looks to the Dr who did the PRP” – no idea my tendons have never been looked at.
I’ve had an xray on my elbow, but never Ive never had a MRI or ultrasound, so no idea about degeneration or tearing
When the Dr gave me the injection they didn’t look at anything on sono, they simply stuck the needle into the correct area.
When I went to see the consultant at the hospital I had literally 3 mins with him, there was no time to discuss numbness tingling, or anything else.
Feeling deflated, I won’t be going back until April 10th I guess I better start demanding they investigate it properly