Tennis elbow (the medical term is lateral epicondylitis) is one of the most common reasons for elbow pain. This condition is usually caused by some other activity rather than playing tennis, it is an overuse syndrome that causes painful sensations on the outer side of the elbow joint.
Common symptoms of tennis elbow are:
- Aching pain in the elbow area
- Weakness in the arm
- Problems with grasping and dropping objects
- Painfull sensations that spread to the forearm
People with this condition usually continue to use their aching arm and aggravate symptoms which may prolongate for weeks. In this article, we gathered seven treatment options for tennis elbow. However, it’s crucial for people to understand what actions worsen their symptoms and try to change or avoid them to let the body heal properly
1. Anti-Inflammatory Meds
Anti-inflammatory meds are usually used to decrease inflammation and pain. The easiest option is the oral form of these medications because they are easy to take and they are usually able to manage painful sensations. Despite the fact that these meds are not able to accelerate the healing process, they can provide relief. But it is important to be careful and don’t overuse the elbow and simply mask the pain with medication.
You can try to use an elbow orthosis which is called an elbow clasp. This kind of brace can redirect the pull of misaligned muscles. Elbow clasp can also relieve pain if you wear it during physical activities. Some people with tennis elbow find a wrist splint very useful. It limits excessive movements of the wrist tendons that usually cause tennis elbow pain.
3. Lifestyle changes
Changes in the way you perform certain actions that exacerbate elbow pain can be one of the options for a successful tennis elbow treatment. There is a lot of activities that can cause pain in the tennis elbow. Even minor changes in your lifestyle (like the way you lift objects) can lead to a significant reduction of painful sensations from a tennis elbow.
4. Cortisone injections
Cortisone injections are considered one of the most common treatment options for tennis elbow. But this method is quite controversial and scientists still don’t know if it actually should be used. Despite the fact that cortisone injections can relieve pain, they can cause negative consequences. The person doesn’t feel pain anymore and overuses the elbow. This may worsen the symptoms when the effect will pass. Moreover, some studies show that cortisone doesn’t bring lasting results.
5. Autologous blood injection and PRP
A blood injection is the treatment method that uses your own blood taken from a vein which is injected into a damaged area to incite a healing reaction. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new treatment, similar to autologous blood injections. PRP is the concentration of platelets taken from your blood. These platelets have growth factors that can help heal some chronic injuries.
6. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
Shockwave therapy is also used to treat the tennis elbow. It is the use of sound waves that produce microtrauma to the tissues. This microtrauma triggers a healing process that relieves painful sensations. Despite the fact that this treatment method has not yet been studied well, it shows good results in tennis elbow treatment.
There are several surgical treatment methods that can be used to treat tennis elbow. The most successful surgeries involve removing part of the damaged tendon or releasing the attached damaged tendon. A healthy part of the tendon can also be restored. Arthroscopic elbow surgery can also help people who are suffering from tennis elbow.