Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


I've had tennis elbow twice in the last two years. I call it "tuba elbow." I get it whenever I have to carry my tuba in its case for very far. What's the best way to get over this problem?


Most people with tennis (tuba) elbow are treated by their doctors. Rest, ice, and medications are the first line of treatment. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections are the drugs used most often. Physical therapy for exercises, stretching, and splinting may be advised.

Studies are starting to show results aren't better after splinting. In fact, patients who are splinted have higher rates of limited duty and more medical costs.

Though it may seem like lifting and carrying your tuba is what brings on the symptoms, it may be that pain occurs with the activity only after the condition got started. Some doctors think using the arm will actually lead to a more rapid recovery.

If you have to transport the tuba around a lot, you may want to think about getting a wheeled cart for it. Tuba cases with wheels can also be purchased.

V. Jane Derebery, MD, et al. The Effects of Splinting on Outcomes for Epicondylitis. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. June 2005. Vol. 86. No. 6. Pp. 1081-1088.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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