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Participants Sought For Study of Prolotherapy for Tennis Elbow at UPMC Shadyside

PITTSBURGH, July 23, 2008 — The Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is seeking participants for a study to evaluate the benefits of prolotherapy for tennis elbow.

Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment used to stimulate repair of damaged ligaments and tendons. It uses an irritant such as a sugar-based solution that is injected into the deep tissue structures. This causes a localized inflammation, which then causes the tendons and ligaments to repair and strengthen themselves. As the tissues repair they get stronger, which can lead to a reduction in pain.

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, is an overuse injury in which a repetitive activity such as tennis or lifting causes pain on the outside of the elbow.

Researchers are seeking people between the ages of 18 and 65 who currently are experiencing tennis elbow to participate in the study, entitled, “Prolotherapy for the treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis,” which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Participants will be evaluated at the CIM by a sports medicine specialist to confirm their diagnosis, and will fill out questionnaires about their pain level before continuing with the study. They will receive three to six injections, each approximately three weeks apart. The response to these treatments will be monitored for an additional 12 weeks. Participants will be compensated for their time.

For more information and to find out if you qualify for the study, please call the CIM at 412-623-2374 or visit the Web site at

The CIM is dedicated to clinical services, education and research on an evolving form of health care where disease prevention, practitioner/patient partnership and the evidence-based application of non-conventional treatment strategies are explored in collaboration with conventional medical practices.

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