Anyone who’s experienced tennis elbow is familiar with its debilitating pain – from a dull, nagging ache to sharp bursts and often cortisone shots are considered for relief. Caused by repetitive arm movements, tennis elbow is commonly experienced by more than just tennis players. Others at risk include golfers, fitness enthusiasts, hairdressers, plumber, cooks, construction and manufacturing workers, musicians, gamers, crafters and more.
Repeated motions in the arms can lead to small tears in the tendons of the forearm, which eventually causes inflammation and pain at the outside of the elbow where the tendon attaches to the bone. In addition to pain, tennis elbow symptoms include stiffness at the elbow, weak grip strength, difficulty grasping or lifting objects and numbness or tingling in the fingers.
If left untreated, tennis elbow pain tends to worsen over time, and the condition can become chronic. While there are a variety of treatments available for tennis elbow, they require consistent adherence and take time for best results. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 80-85 percent of tennis elbow cases improve after six months to one year of nonsurgical treatment.
One common treatment method is injection of steroids, such as cortisone. If you’re wondering, “Should I get a cortisone shot for tennis elbow?”, here we highlight some important considerations.