Back in the Swing of Things

Study suggests EFA supplementation helps “tennis and golf elbow.”

Author: Kurt Hofmann

Is your golf bag still in storage from the winter because you find it too painful to swing your clubs? Is your tennis racket hanging in the closet because the thought of hitting a ball makes your elbow cringe with pain?

Essential fatty acids may be the key to unlocking your favorite summer outdoor activities again.

A nutritional supplement containing Borage Oil, Fish oils and vitamins A, B6, C and E plus selenium and zinc has been proven to be an effective treatment for the inflammatory injury commonly known as “tennis elbow” or “golf elbow”. These injuries are normally treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) but 10-50 per cent of people are unable to take NSAIDs for long periods of time because of side effects, including stomach ulcers, abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating and heartburn.

Soren Mavrogenis, a physiotherapist with Denmark’s Olympic Committee, conducted a study on a group of rowers from Denmark’s National Rowing Team to document the anti-inflammatory effects of his treatment. The study will be published in a scientific journal of sports medicine.

“The results of this research confirm our clinical observations and leave us with the clear impression that inflammatory injuries can be treated without the use of NSAIDs,” Mavrogenis told Reuters Health. “I see this as a regular breakthrough in modern physiotherapy.”

Mavrogenis said he has effectively treated several hundred cases of reoccurring inflammatory conditions with this nutritional supplement treatment with a great deal of success. He said that most of his patients respond favorably to the treatment in as little as two to three weeks, but noted that the severity of the injury plays a role in recovery time.

“In fact, it is our experience that with this new treatment, as opposed to conventional treatment, athletes are able to train actively while receiving treatment.

“The bad cases require the use of intensive ultrasound and certain massage techniques in addition to the antioxidants and essential fatty acids, but in milder cases the use of nutrients alone is adequate.”

Dr. Ronald Lawrence, an assistant clinical professor of the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles, has won many awards related to the study of sports injuries and has served on a number of associations related to sports medicine. He is a strong believer in using nutritional supplements to treat inflammatory conditions.

“People today in this country are looking for that type of approach. They are worried about taking too many drugs and drugs do cause side effects.”

Generalist Dr. Claus Hancke also supports the use of essential fatty acids in treating inflammatory injuries.

“Personally, I see the nutritional approach to inflammation as a big advantage,” said Hancke, “and I am convinced that essential fatty acids and antioxidants taken in combination have the same, or maybe even greater, anti-inflammatory potential than NSAIDs.”