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