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Tennis Elbow

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Medications

Along with tendon rest, people often use medicine to treat tennis elbow. Medicine can help with pain and relieve or reduce swelling.

Medication choices

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin (such as Bayer), ibuprofen (such as Advil), or naproxen (such as Aleve), are the most commonly used medicines for treating tennis elbow. NSAIDs are available with or without a prescription. NSAIDs come in pills and in a cream that you rub over the sore area. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can also help with pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Your doctor may suggest corticosteroid injections (shots) if you are still in pain after at least 6 to 8 weeks of tendon rest and rehab. Corticosteroids are a class of powerful anti-inflammatory medicine. Even though inflammation isn't usually present in long-term (chronic) tennis elbow, corticosteroid shots may ease elbow pain.

What to think about

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroid shots don't cure tennis elbow. But they can reduce pain and give you enough relief to start rehab.

Avoid taking NSAIDs or other pain relief medicine to control pain if you are continuing activities that can further damage your tendon. If you don't feel the pain, you won't know that your elbow is getting worse.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 10, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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