WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Tennis elbow is inflammation of the tendons in your elbow. Tendons are strong tissues that connect muscle to bone.
- Acetaminophen: This medicine decreases pain and fever. You can buy acetaminophen without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
- NSAIDs: These medicines decrease swelling, pain, and fever. You can buy NSAIDs without a doctor's order. Ask your primary healthcare provider which medicine is right for you, and how much to take. Take as directed. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems if not taken correctly.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.
- Arm care when wearing a brace or splint: Ask your primary healthcare provider how to care for your arm while you wear a brace or splint.
- Rest: You may need to rest your injured arm and avoid activities that cause pain. This will help your tendon and muscles heal.
- Ice: Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed.
- Elevate: Raise your elbow above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your elbow on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You have more pain or weakness in your arm, wrist, hand, or fingers.
- You have new numbness or tingling in your arm, hand, or fingers.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You suddenly have no feeling in your arm, hand, or fingers.
- You suddenly cannot move your arm, wrist, hand, or fingers.
- Your elbow or arm are red, warm, and swollen.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.