Cortisone for Tennis Elbow Not Helpful
Tennis Elbow causes chronic pain around the outside of the elbow, just past the joint. It is commonly an over-use injury and it affects about 37 million Americans. It can last from weeks to months. It generally does not last longer than 3 months except when there is chronic re-injury. Because it is so common, everyone seems to have their ‘sure-fire’ home remedy for it. Even the medical profession has multiple approaches to treat Tennis Elbow. A new research article has physicians rethinking our approach to managing Tennis Elbow.
A recent clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association informs us that the patients who receive cortisone injections were significantly less likely to have made a full recovery than the other members of the study. The cortisone hindered the recovery in the short-term.
Physiotherapy provided somewhat smaller therapeutic benefits than the cortisone shot at first, but most patients who had the physiotherapy didn’t need as much anti-inflammatory pain medication. Those types of medications cause gastrointestinal side effects. While physical therapy didn’t work better than no treatment over the long haul, it also didn’t hinder recovery, which occurred with the cortisone shot.
As a chiropractor, I often work on tennis elbow. I tend to treat the muscle spasm in the elbow, the histochemical swelling, and the nerve irritation. I use various types of physiotherapy, not too dissimilar to the ones used in the study. One thing I add that was not included in the use of KT-tape. Although the research study showed that the various applications had the same result after one year, who wants to wait a year for a resolution of the elbow pain?
Chiropractic techniques can help heal the tennis elbow faster. If you or a friend has tennis elbow, call me and let’s get a treatment plan put together.
Effect of Corticosteroid Injection, Physiotherapy, or Both on Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Unilateral Lateral EpicondylalgiaA Randomized Controlled Trial Brooke K. Coombes, PhD; Leanne Bisset, PhD; Peter Brooks, MD, FRACP; Asad Khan, PhD; Bill Vicenzino, PhD. JAMA. 2013;309(5):461-469. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.129