Proven Elbow Pain Treatments to Speed Up Recovery
Elbow Pain Overview
Many factors may lead to elbow pain, in most cases, this is caused by overload. Your elbow engages in different types of movements, such as throwing, swinging, and lifting. The elbow is not a simple joint, due to its complicated composition, many factors could contribute to an injury.
Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by overuse of the extensor muscles in your arm and forearm. When a tennis elbow develops, the outer part of the elbow becomes painful and tender. You may get tennis elbow if your forearm muscles move repetitively from activities they’re not used to and it can even come from “harmless” tasks such as gardening. Nevertheless, this painful condition can still happen even if you use your forearm muscles frequently. Despite there being “tennis” in its name, athletes aren't the only people who develop this repetitive stress injury.
- Aching or burning on the outer elbow
- Pain when twisting your arm
- Feeling stiff when extending your arm
- Age: Tennis elbow occurs most commonly between the age of 30-50.
- Career: Jobs such as cooks and painters that require repetitive movement of elbows and arms are more likely to develop tennis elbow.
- Sports Activities: Playing sports like golf, tennis, baseball, and climbing may increase the possibility of getting an elbow injury.
At Home Elbow Pain Treatment
Fortunately, in most situations, your elbow will become better after taking plenty of rest, but some at-home treatments are also recommended to accelerate the recovery.
Easy steps to relieve your elbow pain include:
1. Cold Therapy
The I.C.E. method (Ice, Compression, Elevation) can help minimize swelling.
- Ice: Cold temperatures help to minimize swelling. Applying ice or cold packs to the painful area for 15-20 minutes may effectively reduce the pain.
- Compression: Compression helps control the swelling and stabilize the elbow.
- Elevation: Keeping your elbow above the level of your heart enables the fluids to flow away from the injury, thus reducing swelling and toxicity from the injured area.
2. Exercise and Stretching
Exercise may slightly increase the symptom at the beginning, however, with regular practice, it will become less painful and your elbow will be able to move better.
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.
4. Copper Compression Elbow Sleeves
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 can recover on its own if you take enough rest, however, seek a doctor if you have:
- Trouble moving your elbows normally for long period
- Feeling pain even if you are not using your arm
- Increasing swelling or pain in the injured area