How long does it take to recover from tennis elbow?

The recovery  normally takes over six weeks provided it is properly diagnosed and appropriately treated. To get back to normal and regain the complete strength, another six weeks will be required. In certain cases, despite the treatment, the recovery may take a longer period. This condition can become chronic, if you do not receive timely and proper treatment or if you do not rest your arms and continue to strain them.

According to health experts, the healing process and the time needed for it can vary based on the severity of the injury, how compliant the patient is to the treatment, and the stage of the injury. Improvement based on the stage is as follows:

Injury less than two weeks ago: Quick healing is possible just with the use of anti-inflammatory medications, cold pack, and resting the limb.

Injury more than two weeks ago: Treatments other than the ones mentioned above may be needed. Most often, it can be healed using soft tissue release techniques.

Most of the patients suffering from tennis elbow show improvement without any surgical treatment, just by using cold packs, over-the-counter medicines, and physical therapy. Sometimes, shockwave therapy or steroid injection may be required. In case, the pain has been lasting for more than 6 months, surgery may be advised. About 90% of the cases are cured without surgery.

The healing process will be slowed down, or the symptoms reoccur in the following cases:

  • Inappropriate or excessive physical activity
  • Carrying heavy objects
  • Playing sports using improper sports techniques
  • No sufficient rest for your elbow
  • Weak muscles, experiencing stiffness in joints, and/or muscle spasms, especially if the joints in your upper back, neck, elbow or wrist are involved.