Steroid Treatment for Tennis Elbow

Do you suffer from tennis elbow?  It is a painful condition that is caused by overuse.  It is the inflammation of the tendons that stems from the forearm to the outside of the elbow due to repeated twisting of the wrist. 

Tennis Elbow

Image by bluesmoon via Flickr

THE QUESTION The burning elbow pain and weak grip of the condition nicknamed tennis elbow are often treated with steroid injections and physical therapy. How much do these treatments help?…More at Steroid shots for tennis elbow may do more harm than good in the long term – Washington Post


Surprisingly the answer is that in the long haul, these steroid injections are more harmful than beneficial.  A study was conducted with 165 participants of the average age of 50. Some of the participants were given an injection of a corticosteroid and others a placebo over 4-6 weeks.  The participants that were given an injection seemed to have decreased pain during physical therapy in the first few weeks.  However, over the course of a year, the patients that received the placebo had less pain.  Physical therapy didn't present much help in either group.

If you are suffering from tennis elbow or some other form of tendonitis, there are a number of exercises and treatments available to you short of steroid treatments.