The general approach to the treatment for Tennis elbow is as follows:
Conservative Treatment for Tennis Elbow: It includes the following:
- Giving rest to the affected part as much as possible and preventing those activities which cause pain
- Correction of posture and movement of elbow.
- Applying ice or cold therapy to the elbow about 15 minutes up to 6 times a day to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Elbow bracing and support pads may also be worn for short term pain relief.
Medical Treatment for Tennis elbow:
- Application of medicated ointments such as anti-inflammatory gels and steroidal gels to the affected parts.
- Oral medications which mostly include pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicines in treatment for Tennis elbow.
- Local injections of steroids are also given for severe cases in treatment for Tennis elbow.
- However, it is not wise to pop many pain killers every time one has pain. They have adverse effects on the liver and kidneys.
Physiotherapy and Exercises:
- Physiotherapy is a must after the healing process, to restore the elbow's function, and assist the person to return to his normal activities.
- Manual therapy treatments such as massage therapy, myofacial release and transverse friction techniques across the tendon may also be beneficial.
- Therapist may also perform ultrasound, ice massage, or muscle-stimulating techniques to improve muscle healing.
- Exercise regimen such as eccentric and concentric strengthening. Eccentric strengthening occurs when a muscle is lengthened while it is "loaded". An example would be extending the elbow at 180 degrees from 90 degrees while holding a dumbbell.
Surgical Treatment for Tennis elbow:
- It is used only as a last resort, when symptoms do not improve with the above treatment and pain lasts for more than a year.
- Surgical procedures in treatment for Tennis elbow mostly involve removal of degenerated or abnormal tissues.
- However, they do not assure any relief in many cases and are known to cause certain risks like infection, nerve and blood vessel damage, possible prolonged rehabilitation, loss of strength and flexibility.