According to WebMD, the first step to treating tennis elbow is to reduce the pain by using ice packs, 10 to 15 minutes at a time, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. It is recommended to stop or change any activity that may cause irritation in the tendon. Rehabilitation exercises help with the pain and increase range of motion.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 80 to 90 percent of patients with tennis elbow do not need surgical treatment as the most important step to recovery is resting the elbow. The Academy recommends checking equipment and possibly changing the equipment or the way an activity is performed so pressure is relieved from the tendon during exercise.
WebMD suggests using a sports trainer, an ergonomic specialist or an occupational or physical therapist to help find equipment or organize a workspace that works for the individual patient. For short-term treatment, steroid or painkiller injections temporarily soothe the pain and swelling in the elbow joint.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that extracorporeal shock wave therapy can also be an effective option but is considered experimental. After six-to-12 months of nonsurgical treatment, a doctor may recommend surgical treatment, which includes removing the troubled muscle and reattaching new muscle to the bone.