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How To Get Rid Of That Nagging Pain In Your Elbow

Elbow pain is one of the most common disorders that can limit your movement and range of motion, making it difficult to finish even the simplest of everyday tasks. The elbow is a very flexible joint that allows you to move  your arms, wrists, and hands. However, it is also often overused which leads to inflammation and pain in the elbow joints and bones.  

So what are the best tips to remedy the aching pain in the elbow? You can manage its symptoms with simple self-care treatments that you can do at home such as resting the elbow, applying a cold compress, wrapping the joint in  performing simple stretching exercises, taking pain relief medications, and wearing an elbow brace for support. However, finding the right treatment for your elbow condition often depends on the diagnosis made by your physician. 

At-Home Treatments To Remedy Elbow Pain 

Individuals who actively engage in sports and physical activities like tennis, badminton, or golf are no strangers to elbow pain. But even doing mundane activities and repetitive work tasks can lead to stress of the joints and inflammation of the forearm muscles / tendons, and result in elbow pain. 

In most cases, sudden flare-ups of the elbow will likely go away on their own without to see a doctor. Knowing how to relieve pain at home is beneficial to provide immediate relief and prevent it from getting worse. Here are some of the ways you can ease your elbow pain at home: 

  1. Take it easy and rest your elbow  

If you feel sudden onset of elbow pain in the middle of an activity, it’s best to stop what you’re doing and take a break. Continuing your task can only worsen the inflammation in the area. This treatment is a quick fix that will allow your fatigued muscles and joints to rest and the soreness subside.

However prolonged muscle rest may lead to joint stiffness. So, slowly resume your activities by doing small range of motion exercises.

  1. Apply a cold compress or ice therapy  

Cold therapy is another home remedy to treat  pain from overuse. It is said that immediately applying ice to the area may reduce inflammation and swelling.

When you use  cold therapy, make sure to put the ice packs or frozen gel packs with a towel. To avoid ice burns. It is recommended to apply the cold compress for 15 to 20 minutes,  3 to 4 times a day. 

  1. Use a heat pad/pack  

Heat therapy is another type of temperature treatment that is effective for pain relief. Applying heat promotes blood circulation to the elbow area which helps ease the pain from muscles and improves flexibility and movement. 

In addition, promoting healthy blood flow promotes healing of the affected area. This treatment option is ideal for long-term comfort for people who have chronic elbow pain. A therapist may also recommend applying heat packs after stretching or exercises. It can be applied for at least 15 to 30 minutes every day to soothe the elbow pain. 

  1. Stretch your elbow joint 

Elbow pain can sometimes be caused by stiffness in the joints. You can soothe the excruciating ache by gently stretching out your elbow.

While doing this light exercise, you should feel a comfortable stretch along the elbow. This activity will help some of the mobility of the elbow if there are no major bony dysfunctions. 

Over-the-counter pain relief medications Wear elbow supports such as braces or pads 

Once a diagnosis is determined, your physical therapist can make recommendations on the use of elbow braces or elastic straps for support and pain control.These may reduce the pain and at the same time protect the elbow from further injuries or strain. These are avaailable over the counter in the pharmacy or on line.

What Causes Aching Elbow Pain? 

Natural wear and tear, traumatic injury, or stress to the elbow and forearm muscles are often the common causes of elbow pain. If you have this condition, you may find yourself experiencing weakness in the forearms and shoulder muscles, unstable grip, and difficulty moving the fingers. Some people may have underlying medical conditions that can also lead to these painful symptoms, such as: 

  • Tennis elbow - also called lateral epicondylitis, this happens due to excess strain on the tendons because of repetitive movements of the elbow and wrist. It’s characterized by swelling on the area on the outer surface of the elbow. 
  • Tendinitis - It is a general term describing the inflammation of the tendon due to repeated motions over time.
  • Elbow dislocations and fractures - This occurs when the bones of the forearm suddenly become misaligned with the bones of the upper arm. Any type of accident, injury, or fall may cause serious fractures and distortion of the elbow joints. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis - It is an autoimmune disorder described by inflammation of more than one of your joints. This causes pain and discomfort which can lead to deformity of the elbow joints. 
  • Elbow sprains - Unlike tendonitis, sprains are a result of the overstretching or tearing of one or two ligaments around the elbow joint.

When To See A Doctor For Persistent Elbow Pain 

You should schedule a visit to a physical therapist or primary care physician if your symptoms persist beyond the first seven days.. Other signs that may require immediate medical help are: 

  • Inability to lift, straighten, or move your elbow 
  • Obvious physical deformity of the arm or elbow joints 
  • Persistent pain even while you’re resting at night 
  • Prolonged swelling or tenderness around the elbow 
  • Pain or stiffness following trauma

Getting physical therapy is beneficial to help rehabilitate your elbow pain and bring it back to its prior level of function. During a physical therapy session, your therapist will help find out the main cause of your elbow pain and will make recommendationsfor activity modifications and exercises to make ease the area of discomfort.

Your therapist will review and performexercises to restore mobility and strength to your elbow and surrounding joints and muscles. Other techniquesincludemyofascial release, Graston, cupping, joint mobilisation, and stretching exercises. Your physical therapist can also give provide you tips on how you can prevent risks of future injuries or elbow sprains. 

Find The Best Relief From Elbow Pain With Help From AmeriCare Physical Therapy 

Home remedies can treat elbow pain to a certain extent but the best thing you can do for your condition is to get professional help from physical therapy experts. At AmeriCare Physical Therapy, our team of  therapists can help you recover from injury and minimize chronic pain without needing surgery. 

We have physical rehabilitation clinics located in different areas in New Jersey. At AmeriCare, we offer efficient treatment plans and physical therapy services based on your body’s needs so you can get back your full mobility and function. Drop by at any of our offices or contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. 

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