Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Elbow FAQ


What's the best treatment for tennis elbow? My pain is on the outside of my left elbow.


Studies haven't been able to show one treatment is better than all the others. They seem pretty much even. Physical therapy has been matched against steroid injections and a "wait-and-see" approach. There wasn't much difference in the results for each type of treatment.

A recent study compared a program of forearm stretching and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ECWT) with stretching and sham ECWT. Again, there wasn't enough difference in results to say one was better than the other.

Certainly, avoiding activities that bring on your symptoms or make them worse should be avoided. This may be the best advice until more studies find out what really works.

Bryan Chung, and J. Preston Wiley, MD. Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in the Treatment of Previously Untreated Lateral Epicondylitis. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. October/November 2004. Vol. 32. No. 7. Pp. 1660-1667.

*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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