You may have heard of corticosteroid injection (CSI) or autologous blood injection (ABI) to help relieve pain from your tennis or golfers elbow. CSI is when corticosteroid is injected to your tendons where it has the ability to act as an anti-inflammatory. CSI is a very strong drug in which it can control symptoms of pain, however, there are risks of long-term use of CSI. The risks include:
- Induced osteoporosis
- Impaired ligament repair
- Injection site reaction
ABI is a medical procedure whereby your blood is injected into your tendon to stimulate a healing process for the tendon. Although, these procedures may seem promising to reduce your pain, evidence has suggested that CSI provides short-term pain relief (Coombes et al., 2010), but there were worse outcomes a year after CSI (Coombes et al., 2013). Comparatively, ABI has shown to have a better effect than CSI, but only lasting effects of 6 months to one year after multiple injections (Chou et al., 2016; Elmajee et al., 2016).
A more preferable, non-invasive and friendly treatment for tennis/golfer’s elbow is to visit a physiotherapist for the management of your elbow pain. Physiotherapy has more benefits and have fewer to no risks compared to CSI and ABI. Tennis/golfer’s elbow is a condition where the tendons of your elbow are affected and painful. Although, tendons LOVE load, they are very sensitive to change of loads. Change of loads are:
- Increased activity of the arms above what it is normally used to. For example, if you normally work at a computer job, then you start gardening.
- Change of tools. Tools come in different weight and size and a slight change of tools can change the load of the tendons.
- Using the arms in a different way
- A quick change of arm movement. For example, quickly catching a falling object may be a movement you’re not used to and can be the tipping point of what your tendon can tolerate
At Capital Physiotherapy, a physiotherapist can help explore management strategies of your elbow pain. If you require advice on CSI, ABI, and physiotherapy, we are conveniently located at South Yarra, Footscray, and Balwyn. You may drop an email at [email protected] or do an online booking here.