Treating Tennis Elbow

Closeup of hand fastening tennis elbow splint above opposite elbow.Your treatment will depend on how inflamed your tendon is. The goal is to relieve your symptoms and help you regain full use of your elbow.

Rest and medicine

Wearing a tennis elbow splint allows the inflamed tendon to rest. It must be worn properly. It should be placed down the arm past the painful area of the elbow. If it is directly over the inflamed tendon, it can worsen the symptoms. This brace can help the tendon heal. Using your other hand or changing your grip also takes stress off the tendon. Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) and ice can relieve pain and reduce swelling.

Exercises and therapy

Your healthcare provider may give you an exercise program. He or she may refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist will teach you how to gently stretch and strengthen the muscles around your elbow.

Anti-inflammatory injections

Your healthcare provider may give you injections of an anti-inflammatory medicine, such as cortisone. This helps reduce swelling. You may have more pain at first. But in a few days, your elbow should feel better.

If surgery is needed

If your symptoms persist for a long time, or other treatments don’t work, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery. Surgery repairs the inflamed tendon.