Tennis elbow often gets better on its own. But if over-the-counter pain medications and other self-care measures aren't helping, your doctor may suggest physical therapy. Severe cases of tennis elbow may require surgery.
- Learn proper form. Your doctor may suggest that experts evaluate your tennis technique or the movements involved with your job tasks to determine the best steps to reduce stress on your injured tissue.
- Exercises. Your doctor or a physical therapist may suggest exercises to gradually stretch and strengthen your muscles, especially the muscles of your forearm.
- Braces. Your doctor may also suggest you wear a forearm strap or brace to reduce stress on the injured tissue.
If your symptoms haven't improved after six to 12 months of extensive conservative therapy, you may be a candidate for surgery to remove damaged tissue. These types of procedures can be performed through a large incision or through several small incisions. Rehabilitation exercises are crucial to recovery.
Jun. 29, 2013
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- Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00068&webid=25D9E156. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- AskMayoExpert. Lateral elbow tendinopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 17, 2013.
- Koh JS, et al. Fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy for recalcitrant lateral elbow tendinopathy: Early clinical experience with a novel device for minimally invasive percutaneous microresection. The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;41:636.
- Revolutionary treatment of tennis elbow. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/annualreport/2011/innovation/tennis_elbow.html. Accessed April 18, 2013.
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