Most cases of tennis elbow will resolve over time, says Dr. Matt DesJardins, though this can take a year or more. Thus, the initial approach at Commonwealth Orthopaedics is to help patients “manage their symptoms and make it more livable and give it time to heal,” he explains.
Stretching and strengthening exercises, use of a tennis elbow strap, icing after activity and anti-inflammatory medication are useful initial treatments. Activity may be continued as tolerated, though elite athletes may need to cut back until symptoms are more controlled, states Dr. DesJardins. Formal physical therapy is helpful for some patients. Cortisone injections are used “in a limited capacity” to ease stubborn pain. For laborers and athletes who rely on their muscles daily, Dr. DesJardins recommends a comprehensive rehabilitation program that involves evaluating upper-body strength and technique.