Shot in arm plus physical therapy doesn't help tennis elbow: Study
February 5th, 2013
04:02 PM ET

Shot in arm plus physical therapy doesn't help tennis elbow: Study

Weekend sports warriors take note - that pain radiating out of your elbow may be tennis elbow. But don't be so quick to ask your doctor for a cortisone shot.

Research has shown cortisone, or corticosteroid shots, can alleviate the pain in the initial weeks, but have little effectiveness in the long run, and do nothing to reduce recurrence rates.

Doctors have prescribed physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, in conjunction with the shots, hoping to increase the cortisone's long-term effectiveness, but a new study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association finds that the physical therapy doesn't aid the cortisone shots at all.It's contrary to what Bill Vicenzino, one of the authors of the study, expected. "I was surprised to find that addition of physiotherapy did not reduce the recurrence or lift the success rate in the long term."

"We were also very surprised that the addition of steroid to physiotherapy tends to diminish the effectiveness of the physiotherapy," he said.

The study evaluated 165 patients who had pain from tennis elbow for more than six weeks. Patients were divided into four groups - one group given just cortisone shots, another group given placebo shots, a third group receiving both the steroid and the physical therapy, and a final group receiving a placebo shot and physical therapy.

The study found that after a year, those who had the cortisone shots had the least successful outcomes and highest rates of recurrence. And the addition of physical therapy made little difference to the shots. However, physical therapy alone seems to provide the best outcome, with just under a 5% recurrence rate after a year.

Almost half of all people who play racquet sports like tennis, squash, or racquetball have tennis elbow, but racquet sports aren't the only way to get it. Any sort of activity that requires a lot of twisting or gripping motion, like pulling weeds, using a screwdriver, or using a computer mouse can also inflame the tendon that connects your forearm muscles to your elbow.
Dr. R. Amadeus Mason, who was not involved with the study, remarked that it has been standard practice for some time to use saline or lidocaine shots in place of cortisone. Mason is an assistant professor in the department of Orthopedics and Family Medicine at Emory University and advocates for physical therapy.

"The recommendation has been don’t use steroid, use either saline and mechanical treatment, and going back to physical therapy as your first line," he said.

But tennis elbow is just difficult to treat, he noted. "Yes, there are a lot of treatment entities, but when you go back and look, the treatment entities aren’t consistent across the boards."

Filed under: Conditions • Diet and Fitness • Living Well

soundoff (826 Responses)
  1. EncoxAni

    doctor prescription world pharmacy store discount number best us online pharmacy

    June 4, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rv interior repair


    June 4, 2021 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. car dealers near me


    June 4, 2021 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 2006 Mercades Sprinter 2500 Turbo Actuator Repair

    I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    June 4, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Freightliner Sprinter Service


    June 4, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. CrulkAsd

    cialis daily use viagra, cialis levitra online cialis nova scotia

    June 4, 2021 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. trailer repairs near me


    June 4, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 2010 Mercedes Sprinter Repair Panels

    Itís difficult to find well-informed people for this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 4, 2021 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. liquor store open near me

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    June 4, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Repair Fuel Pump Mercedes Sprinter Dodge 3500 2010


    June 4, 2021 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Florencio Panis

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 4, 2021 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mercedes Benz Dealer Service Sprinter Near Me 91605


    June 4, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. High Roof Sprinter Repair Panels


    June 4, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mecedes Sprinter Repair


    June 5, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Authorized Sprinter Repair Facility

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.


    June 5, 2021 at 16:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. cbd near me


    June 5, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Nearest Mercedes Service Center

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this site needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the information!


    June 5, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. camping trailer repair near me


    June 6, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. anna

    Awesome article.

    Check out my blog; anna

    June 6, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sprinter Seat Fabric Repair


    June 6, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Centers Near Me

    I like it when folks get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!


    June 6, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. honda dealership near me


    June 7, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Grady Kreider

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 7, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. EncoxGtv

    pharmacy online store legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies rx pharmacy cards

    June 7, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ZisseVed

    genaric cialis cialis order online ed. trusted medstore in cialis

    June 7, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. EncoxDev

    walgreens pharmacy store finder overseas pharmacies pharmacy king canada

    June 7, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Authorized Sprinter Repair Facility

    Hello there! I just want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great info you have got here on this post. I will be returning to your website for more soon.


    June 7, 2021 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxHtf

    cialis australia online stores buy cialis online overnight shipping buying cialis in canada

    June 7, 2021 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. EncoxDev

    canadian pharmacy coupon sildenafil citrate canadian pharmacy store pharmacy

    June 8, 2021 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Alignent Repair

    I needed to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 8, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv and camper repair near me


    June 8, 2021 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Mechanics Orange County

    I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 8, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. repair rv toilet

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    June 8, 2021 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. EncoxHtf

    cialis 24 hours buy low dose cialis online cialis nebenwirkungen

    June 8, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. EncoxAni

    diet drugs in canada store hours for rite aid pharmacy in calhoun ky imitrex canadian pharmacy

    June 8, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. rv service near my location

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Many thanks! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 9, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I genuinely thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 9, 2021 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Lynn Derck

    Excellent article. I will be going through a few of these issues as well..


    June 9, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Scott Venditto

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now 😉


    June 9, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Bella Roesser

    I love reading through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    June 9, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Gwyn Lagunas

    I was pretty pleased to discover this website. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new things in your web site.

    June 9, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. MileSwa

    windsor, ontario, canada pharmacy cialis cialis australia online stores viagra and cialis

    June 9, 2021 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Ammie Like

    This page really has all the info I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 10, 2021 at 00:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. EncoxGtv

    Provera canadian meds cvs pharmacy online

    June 10, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Verda Sagehorn

    This was great! I would like you to clean up all this spam though


    June 10, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Emerson Fousek

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    June 10, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Arturo Henington


    June 10, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv repair shop


    June 10, 2021 at 07:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jc Caliman


    June 10, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Lon Benninger


    June 10, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to Social Media Marketing Specialist


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.