Long term steroid injections for tennis elbow questioned


Monday 25th October, 2010

New research into the long term use of corticosteroid injections for tendon problems such as tennis elbow has found the treatment may not be beneficial.

After studying data from 41 clinical trials involving over 2,500 participants, a team of scientists at the University of Queensland in Australia concluded that alternative treatments to steroid injections may be more beneficial in the long term treatment of tendinopathy (disease of the tendon).

Researchers found that while injections are effective in reducing pain within the first few weeks, the effects are often reversed when used for longer periods.

Results of the study were published in the Lancet. Researchers concluded:

‘We have shown strong evidence that corticosteroid injection is beneficial in the short term for treatment of tendinopathy, but is worse than other treatment options in the intermediate and long term.

‘Despite the effectiveness of corticosteroid injections in the short term, non-corticosteroid injections might be of benefit for long-term treatment of tennis elbow.’

Many experts have called on patients to explore alternative treatments such as exercise therapy for the treatment of tennis elbow.

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