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Local steroid injections for tennis elbow: does the pain get worse before it gets better? Results from a randomized controlled trialorse before it gets better? Results from a randomized controlled trial

PainSci » bibliography » Lewis et al 2005
Tags: treatment, medications, injections, inflammation, tendinosis, self-treatment, medicine, pain problems, overuse injury, injury

One article on PainSci cites Lewis 2005: Tennis Elbow Guide

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVES: To compare the early effects of local corticosteroid injection, naproxen, and placebo as treatments for tennis elbow in primary care. Specifically, to find out whether the extra pain reduction experienced by patients who are given the steroid injection in the short-term would be realized within the first 5 days of treatment and to attempt to assess how much extra pain may be associated with the injection initially.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial carried out in 23 family practices in the United Kingdom. A total of 164 patients aged 18 to 70 years presenting with a new episode of tennis elbow were recruited and invited to keep a daily record of their pain intensity and medication use over the first 5 days of randomized treatment using a "diary."

RESULTS: On day 1, pain scores were higher in the injection group compared with the naproxen group and placebo group, and the injection group was also taking more painkillers. By day 4, the converse was true, pain scores were significantly lower in the injection group than the other 2 groups, and patients given an injection were less likely to be taking painkillers than those in the placebo group.

DISCUSSION: Steroid injection was associated with an increase in reported pain for the first 24 hours of treatment, but the therapeutic benefits compared with naproxen and placebo were evident 3 to 4 days after the start of treatment.

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