I've been dealing with tennis elbow for close to a year now. I've been to my regular doctor, a rheumatologist, and an orthopedic surgeon. I went to physical therapy for just under 3 months. The therapist gave me several exercises to do everyday (which I do everyday). I've used anti-inflammatories (mostly naproxen--any others upset my stomach). I also use Tylenol.
And yet the pain won't completely go away. I'll have periods where the pain recedes and I'll start thinking that maybe, just maybe, it's gone, but then it'll come back full-force. Sometimes, I can trace it back to something I did, but other times, I can't. It just happens. I try to rest it but, in my life, resting it for an extended period of time is unrealistic. And even when I do get to rest it, sometimes, after that resting period, it doesn't feel better or even feels worse.
Does anyone have experience with tennis elbow? Does it ever go away? I really don't know what more I can do. I asked my ortho surgeon about a cortisone shot but he wanted to leave that as a last resort, since he said he has to administer it with an ultrasound so he can see the muscles and not hit a nerve or something.
Some conditions really can take very long to recover from, even with constantly doing the right things. I'm sure others will be responding as well, but in the meantime, it probably wouldn't hurt to return to a physical therapist to see if there's anything else you could be doing, any new treatments which may help.
Below is a link to some info, most/all of which you probably already know but perhaps it will provide some new avenues to explore:
Thanks for getting back to me, Caprice. I guess I'm just impatient. Everything I've read about tennis elbow pretty much says that it can take a while to fully heal up. The exercises that my PT gave me do help, especially on days when the TE is inflamed, so I'll stick with them for now. I've used up the allotment of visits to PT's that my insurance will allow for this insurance year so I'll have to wait on that. Anyway, I guess the main ingredient for my recovery now is patience.
Tennis elbow can improve. Have you tried a counter force brace? We sometime send out patients to PT for iontophoresis with Dexamethasone - the results are good in the short term but long term data is lacking. It is true that cortisone injections should be reserved as a last resort in the conservative treatment realm. You may want to look into Platelet Rich Plasma injections as well which has some promising results. I hope that helps. Hang in there.
I have been dealing with this problem as well (work related thank God). I have been introduced to these "fixes": prolotherapy,PRP therapy,Cortisone injections. All 3 have been proven no better than a placebo by research. My currrent Ortho Spec said that the best healing is natural but it takes FOREVER..lol...I have been out for almost 7 months now and am experiencing the same things you mentioned. Ice,ibuprofen,a strong non stretchy arm band and lots of stretching and strengthening. I use a 2lb weight. I rest my arm,hold the weight,raise the weighted hand with my opposite hand and then resist the lowering of the weight until it burns..then ice again. It does take time and may not heal 100%. But I wouldn't recommend anything invasive. I hope this helps atleast ease your mind about it.
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I currently have tennis elbow since April 2013. I have been through therapy and ortho drs and the one thing that actually helped and I felt that it actually got healed was when I kept my arm close to my body...bent arm and no reaching out motion (as if u are holding a cup position). Dr said it is prone to re-injure so be careful...unfortunately it did re-injure from still working with my hands because of the physical requirements from work. Give it a try...it helped me the first time and I'm still trying it.
I have had tennis elbow and golfers elbow (inside and outside of the elbow) for 9 years going on 10. My Dr. told me that as long I am doing what im doing (i'm a home health aide) that it in fact will not go away. I have minimized my "flare ups" by not lifting any heavy and I keep my repetitive stuff to a minimum as much as possible. I also am taking Naprosyn (naproxen aka: Aleve) for my pain. its no fun. if you have any swelling ice it down. when I am in pain i wear the tennis elbow strap as well as a wrist splint. strange as it sounds it really does help me.
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After reading all the replies, besides having it myself, the short & long to your question is NO. It never goes away! There are things to do to ease the pain, but again; NO it never truly goes away. The best thing I found for it is called Voltaren Gel @ 1%. You need a prescription. It's a topical gel that does not stink, dries quickly, does not stick to your clothes and gives you instant relieve for hours. P.S.- If your Orthopedic is afraid to give you a cortisone shot, then he/she might only be a D.O. NOT a M.D. If said Doctor is not willing to give you Voltaren Gel, then it's time to find a real Orthopedic. Best of Luck.
I would agree. I've had mine for 6 years. I wear a brace when I workout, only use small weights, and keep them very close to my body. I still have to stretch and ice the are down. It's something you have to learn to live with.
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