Rest and slight adjustments such as changing the grip size of your and using an elbow strap can help in more mild cases of tennis elbow. But if the pain persists after several months of conservative treatment other treatments should be considered. Many people, after being told by their doctors that steroid injection or surgery would be required, decide to look for other non-surgical procedures such as stem cell therapy. Their instincts have served them well since surgery for tennis elbow should be avoided unless absolutely necessary due to the risk of loss of strength and flexibility, infection, nerve and blood vessel damage and likelihood of revision surgery. Also the temporary relief provided by steroid injections does nothing to heal the tear.
If despite various treatments, symptoms significantly impact on your ability to perform your job, you should consider applying for Social Security benefits.
The state agency will review your medical record to determine how your condition affects your ability to perform your work activities. The decision as to whether you qualify for benefits is also based on your age, level of education and a history of your past occupations. The state requires strict requirements for younger individuals to receive benefits while those over 50 may be granted benefits more easily, although again consideration of your age and past occupations plays an important role. In severe cases you may have difficulty raising your arm overhead or even to chest level. Also, in advanced situations, your grip may be weak resulting in failure to grasp objects. Depending on your past jobs and age, inability to raise your arm or lift weights may result in your being granted benefits. If your grip is weak this also may increase your chances of success.
In tennis players, about % have reported current or previous problems with their elbow. Less than one quarter (24%) of these athletes under the age of 50 reported that the tennis elbow symptoms were "severe" and "disabling," while 42% were over the age of 50. More women (36%) than men (24%) considered their symptoms severe and disabling. Tennis elbow is more prevalent in individuals over 40, where there is about a four-fold increase among men and two-fold increase among women. Tennis elbow equally affects both sexes and, although men have a marginally higher overall prevalence rate as compared to women, this is not consistent within each age group, nor is it a statistically significant difference.