For Tennis Elbow, Steroids Can Do More Harm Than Good
The good news, from researchers at the University of Queensland, is that steroids really do relieve the pain of tennis elbow. The bad news is that because steroids relieve the pain of tennis elbow, the tennis player is more likely to overuse and re-injure the joint. A UQ news release reports that researchers at the school found that treating patients with physiotherapy and a corticosteroid injection did not reduce recurrence or have a long-term effect on complete recovery, pain or quality of life. The scientists did find that steroid injections offered short-term benefits, followed by the high chance (more than 70 per cent) of recurrence of injury after two months, as well as protracted delayed healing. When the researchers compared patients who received corticosteroid treatment alone, placebo, corticosteroid therapy with physiotherapy or placebo with physiotherapy, they found that the steroid injection produced higher recurrence rates than the placebo injection, indicating that the actual steroid medication was the likely reason for the higher recurrence rates. Physiotherapy alone provided short-term benefits, and the lowest recurrence rates and 100 per cent recovery or significant improvement 12 months after injury. Read more from the University of Queensland.