What Are The Signs I Should See A
Doctor For Elbow Pain?


The signs you may need to see a doctor for elbow pain can vary based on the individual and their symptoms. Elbow pain is one of the most common causes of arm pain, and it’s usually caused by traumatic injury or repetitive stress injuries that have occurred due to overuse. However, there are other circumstances where elbow pain should be addressed too:


    • If your symptoms don’t improve after resting from an injury or activity.
    •  Your activities make your elbow worse rather than better (for example if typing makes it hurt more). This indicates instability-a physical exam will confirm this diagnosis with a range of motion tests as well as looking at the anatomy.
    • A sudden onset of elbow pain (a fall or other injury) that doesn’t go away within a few weeks
    • Pain when you try to lift your arm in front of your body and then bend it back at the elbow (especially if there is swelling). This could be caused by an ulnar nerve problem, which would require further examination from an orthopaedic hand surgeon who specializes in this area.


Are x-rays required when diagnosing tennis elbow?

No, x-rays are not required when diagnosing tennis elbow. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, other tests may be ordered to diagnose the cause of your pain such as a physical exam or MRI.

If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort in your elbow that’s interfering with daily activities like typing or lifting things from behind you, consider getting an examination by a hand specialist who has experience treating these types of injuries. If it turns out that surgery is the best option for managing your condition, they will be able to provide you with more information about what is involved with this procedure before moving forward because there can sometimes be risks associated with undergoing surgical treatment.


Is it possible to use steroids to treat tennis elbow?

Anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids are very effective, but because tennis elbow is caused by tendon damage rather than inflammation, anti-inflammatories do not address the root cause of the problem. Studies on the long-term effects of treatment on tennis elbow patients have found that steroid injections have no effect on outcomes. Steroid injections, on the other hand, remain popular due to their ability to provide quick pain relief.

Additional complications from steroid or cortisone injections include the decay or tearing of the tendons surrounding the elbow. Furthermore, steroid injections make the muscle and fatty tissue around the joint more susceptible to infection.

While localized steroidal injections provide immediate pain relief, there are no long-term advantages. Due to the potential side effects of steroid use, each case must be carefully considered, with steroid-related tendon damage being a particular risk.


How safe are steroid injections for tennis elbow treatment?

Long-term use of steroid injections for pain relief can result in a number of dangerous side effects.

There is currently no information available to confirm how many steroid injections for tennis elbow patients are considered safe. However, due to the high risk of side effects associated with their use, doctors usually only give them to patients on two occasions.

In some cases, steroid injections caused an atraumatic LCL rupture after just one injection, according to a study. The number and frequency of injections, injection technique, injection depth, and steroid concentration are all factors that play a role in steroid-related complications.

We know that it can be hard to identify the signs of tennis elbow, let alone determine what kind of treatment is best. That’s why we created this guide for you! If you want a second opinion on your diagnosis or just need some more information about how to treat your condition, contact our team today and see if we are a good fit for each other. You deserve pain relief now and while there may not be one perfect solution out there, we promise to find something that works for both of us!


Are You Looking for Non-Surgical
Relief from an Elbow Injury?


Dr. Chen sees patients at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital Center for Sports Medicine in Walnut Creek, California. He is a board certified Pediatrician and Sports Medicine Doctor that specializes in the non-operative medical treatment of a wide variety of various musculoskeletal conditions.  Dr. Chen graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine and went on to complete Pediatric residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey (Rutgers), then went on to fellowship training in Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, one of the perennially top ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. There he provided sideline coverage for NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Cincinnati and Miami University (OH). Since graduating, Dr. Chen has continued his love of sports coverage by volunteering for the San Francisco Marathon, the San Francisco Giant Race, and as the team physician for Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. Being a part of The Center for Sports Medicine allows Dr. Chen quick access to a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, physiatrists, and physical therapists to return you to your highest functional level quickly and safely. Click here to contact us for your next appointment!


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