Cortisone Injections for Tennis Elbow: Not Worth the Shot

cortisone injections for tennis elbow

Everyone wants to take the high road today and seek out the fastest route to their desired outcome.

This is ever prevalent when it comes to curing their tennis elbow injury.

Have you considered cortisone injections for your tennis elbow condition?

I am willing to bet your Doctor recommended them as a quick fix, correct?

While it is true that a shot in the arm with cortisone can magically make the pain in your elbow disappear overnight …

You must know that they are by no means a permanent or long term fix for your injury.

Why would you be willing to risk laying your arm on your Doctor’s table to endure the pain of one or more cortisone shots for four to six weeks pain relief?

And after the effects wear off, your elbow pain could possibly be more severe than before the shots?

3 Truths About Cortisone Shots for Tennis Elbow

  1. In studies, cortisone injections have been shown to actually make the tendon worse off and weaker instead of thicker and stronger.
  2. What these injections really do is mask your symptoms and are not an effective means of treatment.
  3. Countless medical studies have shown for years that these injections are damaging and have long term side effects yet Doctors keep giving them to sufferers without actually disclosing these risks.

There are countless medical research papers on the effectiveness and lack thereof of these kinds of shots and injections for tennis elbow.

A quote in one that stands out for me is:

“Corticosteroid[Cortisone] injection into tendon tissue leads to cell death and tendon atrophy.”

Source: PubMed

So in laymen terms this means that when your Doctor injects you with this stuff, your already damaged and weakened tendon will get weaker and may even die.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

You got to be kidding me!

Why are Doctors still recommending these shots to patients?

How Doctors are getting around this is that they are no longer sticking the needle into the tendon, rather they are shooting the cortisone around the tendon.

But again you have to question how safe and effective this is?

And to make matters worse, most Doctors are not even aware of the changes in where to shoot the cortisone and can your Doctor guarantee that his/her hand is steady enough to avoid injecting this material into your tendon?

Are you willing to have a substance shot into your arm that causes muscle and tissue to die?

I think this is a no brainer and no one wants anything in their body that is dangerous like this!

What was also revealed in a study is that cortisone inhibits collagen production.

Why is this important?

For the simple fact that your extensor tendon is made up of collagen proteins and in order to thicken and repair itself, it needs more collagen.

It still blows my mind that big online medical websites like WebMD and eMedicineHealth are still recommending cortisone injections as a treatment for tennis elbow.

Here are some articles and posts from established publication companies who also support the thinking that cortisone shots are a complete waste of time and not worth the risks:

cortisone injections do not work

cortisone injections elbow

cortisone shots tennis elbow

Any supporting study was recently done in and released in the Medical Journal of Australia.

They divided the 165 patients in the clinical trial into four separate groups.

To be eligible for the trial,  individuals had to have had tennis elbow for at least 6 weeks.

Group one – Cortisone injection without physical therapy.

Group two – Cortisone injection with physical therapy.

Group three – Placebo injection without physical therapy.

Group four – Placebo injection with physical therapy.

So the people in each of these four groups were evaluated for pain levels after one year.

After one year here are the stats as to whether or not the individuals made a recovery.

Group one – 83% with 54% of these people suffering a recurrence of tennis elbow.

Group two – 91% with 29% of the people suffering a recurrence of tennis elbow.

Group three – 96% with 12% of the people suffering a recurrence of tennis elbow.

Group four – 88% with 38% of the people suffering a recurrence of tennis elbow.

What the results indicated is that But physio with the placebo injection had a recurrence rate of just 5% after 52 weeks.

What the researchers ended up concluding was that numbers for the physical therapy intervention were affected by the cortisone shots.

The leading researcher of the study went on to say that only individuals who are in severe pain should entertain the possibility of getting cortisone shots for short term relief.

You are even better off to get started with these 10 treatment exercises for tennis elbow at home which helps strengthen and thicken your damaged tendon naturally.

You can read the entire study here.

Why is Cortisone Used Anyway?

Your body naturally produce a chemical protein called cortisol.

Cortisone is the medically produced version of it.

When the term steroids is mentioned, most people link it to bodybuilders and some professional sports.

But their other purpose that the medical community has been using it for is to fight inflammation in tendon injuries.

And again this is where things get dicey and go off the rails for me.

While it is true that over the first couple of weeks of suffering a tennis elbow injury, there are signs of inflammation and swelling.

Beyond the third or fourth week, the inflammation subsides and is nowhere to be found.

Surgeons who perform tennis elbow surgery will tell you straight to your face that when they do surgery, there are no signs of inflammation of the tendon whatsoever.

The extensor tendon is usually degenerated and not inflamed.

Here is a video that shows how a cortisone injection is given to a patient with tennis elbow. (Warning: Turn away if you are squeamish)

So again the question has to be asked, should you even consider cortisone injections to fight inflammation that doesn’t even exist?

The cortisone shot will only make matters worse by potentially causing your tendon to degenerate and waste away even more.

The inflammation that is present when you first get tennis elbow is your body’s natural defence mechanism and is part of the healing process.

The bottom line here when it comes to cortisone injections for tennis elbow is that unless you only want a short term fix for your injury, these shots should be avoided at all costs.

Now that you know cortisone shots don’t work, why not cure your tennis elbow at home?

Especially when there is an in home, self-treatment program that’s been approved by Doctors.

Avoid the short term fix, and give this permanent solution for tennis elbow a try.

It even comes with a 365 money back guarantee.

Imagine if your Doctor gave you this kind of guarantee each time you left his office!

He or she would be bankrupt in no time!

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