Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to first bring your problem to the attention of your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a sports medicine specialist or an orthopedic surgeon.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you may want to write a list that answers the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Does any motion or activity make the pain better or worse?
  • Have you recently injured your elbow?
  • What medications or supplements do you take?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you have rheumatoid arthritis or a nerve disease?
  • Does your job involve repetitive motions of your wrist or arm?
  • Do you play sports? If so, what types of sports do you play and has your technique ever been evaluated?
June 15, 2016
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  2. AskMayoExpert. Lateral elbow tendinopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
  3. Tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis). American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Accessed April 4, 2016.
  4. Jayanthi N. Epicondylitis (tennis and golf elbow). Accessed April 4, 2016.
  5. Ferri FF. Epicondylitis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. Accessed April 14, 2016.
  6. Barnes DE. Percutaneous ultrasonic tenotomy for chronic elbow tendinosis: A prospective study. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2015;24:67.
  7. Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 13, 2016.
  8. Coombes BK, et al. Effect of corticosteroid injection, physiotherapy, or both on clinical outcomes in patients with unilateral lateral epicondylalgia: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2013;309:461.
  9. Gosens T, et al. Ongoing positive effect of platelet-rich plasma versus corticosteroid injection in lateral epicondylitis: A double-blind randomized controlled trial with 2-year follow-up. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011;39:1200.
  10. Brown AY. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 9, 2015.