Fast-track Your Recovery: Effective Treatments for Elbow Pain
Elbow Pain Overview
Elbow pain can stem from various factors, most commonly due to overuse and repetitive motions. The elbow joint, with its intricate composition, is susceptible to injury. Activities such as throwing, swinging, and lifting can put strain on the elbow, leading to discomfort and pain.
Tennis elbow, known medically as lateral epicondylitis, is a painful condition caused by the overuse of the extensor muscles in the arm and forearm. Contrary to its name, tennis elbow can develop from activities other than tennis, such as gardening or repetitive tasks. The outer part of the elbow becomes tender and painful. It's estimated that approximately 1-3% of the general population is affected by tennis elbow each year.
Common symptoms of tennis elbow include:
- Aching or burning sensation on the outer elbow
- Pain when twisting the arm
- Stiffness when extending the arm
- Weak grip strength
Several factors increase the risk of developing tennis elbow:
- Age: Tennis elbow most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50.
- Occupation: Jobs that involve repetitive movements of the elbow and forearm, such as painters, plumbers, or cooks, increase the likelihood of developing tennis elbow.
- Sports Activities: Participating in sports like tennis, golf, baseball, and racquet sports can contribute to the development of tennis elbow.
At-Home Elbow Pain Treatment
While rest is crucial for recovery, there are various at-home treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and expedite healing:
1. Cold Therapy
Applying ice or cold packs to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time can reduce pain and inflammation. Cold therapy helps constrict blood vessels and decrease swelling.
2. Exercise and Stretching
Engaging in specific exercises and stretching routines can improve elbow mobility and strengthen the muscles surrounding the elbow. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercises.
Here’s a quick and easy exercise that can be done either standing or sitting. Bringing your elbow up and down will be one repetition.
Step1: Begin with both arms hanging by your side.
Step2: Bring one of your arms up to touch your shoulder
Step3: Hold for 5-10 seconds and slowly lower your arms
3. Pain Relievers
Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), citric acid/sodium bicarbonate (Alka-Seltzer), naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and aspirin are some of the top-rated over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications that will help minimize temporary elbow pain.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen are especially effective for some types of pain caused by swelling or inflammation. Like all medications, these OTC pain relievers can have side effects. Always check with your healthcare provider before starting a new medication.
Besides the above at-home treatments helping you relieve elbow pain, our Elbow Sleeve can also keep you from injury as well as improve your elbow movements.
The compression and stability support your body during all activities, and the 4-way stretch construction enhances your movements while providing the flexibility to flow freely. The copper-infused nylon protects the copper from being worn off or washed away and has antimicrobial properties.
The PowerKnit Elbow supports and warms key muscles and tendons in your elbow by engineering with the seamless PowerKnit technology, this helps them to fire faster and reach peak output. It also stabilizes your joints, prevents strain and fatigue, and facilitates active recovery. PowerKnit Elbow Sleeve has 18-21 mmHg compression level and is composed of 40% Copper Infused Nylon, 40% Polyester, 18% Rubber, and 2% Spandex.
The recovery elbow reinforces your arm during training and competition, it allows for a full range of movements without slipping off owing to its sung yet flexible feature. The Recovery Elbow Sleeve has 8-12 mmHg and is composed of 85% Copper Infused Nylon and 15% Spandex.
When to See a Doctor
In most cases, elbow pain resolves with at-home treatments. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor if:
- The pain persists or worsens despite rest and self-care measures.
- There is significant difficulty in moving the elbow or performing everyday tasks.
- Swelling or redness increases in the affected area.
- Numbness or tingling radiates down the arm.