For years now, physicians of all types have recommended steroid injections for tennis elbow. There has been some debate about the value of these injections. It is time to declare there is no significant value and they may actually be harmful. A new study published today by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) evaluated 165 patients in a prospective, randomized fashion. In this study, patients were given a corticosteroid injection or a placebo injection. Physical therapy was also added. Reuters Health ran a story about the study today. Here are some excerpts:
(Reuters Health) - "Getting a cortisone injection won't cure tennis elbow any better than a drug-free saline shot, according to a new study - and it might actually slow recovery."
"Among those who'd received a cortisone shot, 83 percent reported they had completely recovered from tennis elbow by one year. That compared to 96 percent of those who'd received a placebo injection, according to findings published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association."
"This evidence does not support the clinical practice of using corticosteroid injection to facilitate active rehabilitation," the study team wrote."
Read the full article by Genevra Pittman from Reuters.
It is clear form published peer reviewed data that cortisone injections have little or no value in the treatment of tennis elbow. Data suggests a platelet rich plasma injection is significantly better option than cortisone. Or, try a simple stretching and strengthening program. Always also consult with a physician also to make sure you have a proper diagnosis.
Simple Tennis Elbow Stretches
Simple Tennis Elbow Strengthening Exercises