Elbow pain is more prevalent for people who are at least 40 years old and lead an active lifestyle. The pain is often generated from overuse of your wrist. You feel the pain at your elbow, but you need to examine what you are doing with your wrists to understand the underlying causes of elbow pain.
Treatment for Elbow Pain: Wrist Motion
Elbow pain and tenderness is usually classified as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. While the cause for both conditions is often overuse, the pain is located in different areas. Pain on the outside of your elbow is tennis elbow and pain on the inside of your elbow is golfer’s elbow. There is a bony prominence that is named the lateral epicondyle. You can easily locate it by feeling the outside of your elbow joint. A tendon connects the muscle that runs along the top of your arm to the wrist. This muscle controls the movements of your wrist in the position when you high five someones or push a door open. On the inner portion of your elbow is the medial epicondyle. That area can be the source of your pain in the elbow as well.
If you first identify the source of your elbow pain, you will begin to identify the source of the irritation. Have you been holding the steering wheel of your car in a tight grip and for a long time? You could develop tennis elbow from that activity. Or perhaps you do play tennis, and that is where you are overusing this muscle. Alternatively, you could be using the muscle on the inner upper arm too strenuously. By identifying what may be causing the problem, you can modify the activity through a different position, using a brace for lifting heavy objects or changing the way you grip your steering wheel to reduce the likelihood of irritating the muscle and tendon that is hurting. You need to reduce the daily wear and tear in the area in whatever way is possible.
Home Treatment for Elbow Pain
There are many things you can do to help alleviate your pain.
- Stop the Activity: You need to refrain and rest from the activity that is the source of your pain. Note this is not a directive to stop the activity forever, but you need to rest from it for at least a week. So, if it is your tennis game, then you need to book off any matches for example.
- Icing the Elbow: When you put ice on the area for 20 minutes and then take the ice off for 20 minutes, you are stimulating blood flow and reducing swelling.
- Compress: There are many elbow straps you can purchase to reduce the pull on the tendon that is giving you pain.
- Elevate: Keep the area elevated, so you do not promote swelling.
- Pain and Anti-inflammatory Medications: Take over the counter medication to reduce your pain so you can get back to moving the area and take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the chances of swelling. Swelling can aggravate the region by increasing the pressure on your tendon.
- Brace: Sometimes a wrist brace is helpful to immobilize the area temporarily to promote healing.
- Medicated Rubs: Often the medication in the rub will promote blood flow which will, in turn, reduce the swelling.
Professional Treatment for Elbow Pain
- Diagnosis: Your expert pain doctor in New York or pain doctor in New Jersey will have many non-intrusive solutions to suit your lifestyle. When you make your appointment at the pain treatment clinic, you can expect that your physician will first take the time to diagnose your issue correctly. He or she will examine your elbow, request that you move it in specific directions, take a full medical history and request what drugs you are currently taking. He or she may also require imaging of the are using X-ray or MRI technology to rule out any bone damage or other serious diseases.
Another area of concern could be the different types of arthritis. Usually, with rheumatoid arthritis (the wear and tear disease) both wrists would hurt. If you have pain in one wrist only, it is likely that you have damage of soft tissue and not a disease.
Once an accurate diagnosis has been confirmed that you are suffering from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, you can begin treatment.
- Physical Therapy: Completing the right exercises will promote blood flow in the area while strengthening the muscles to reduce the pressure on your tendons. Your physical therapist will train you to complete these specific exercises at home to speed up your recovery time. He or she will have some advice about the activity that is the source of your discomfort. Perhaps you require a new swing technique or a new piece of sports equipment. If the problem is work related, you may need to follow the advice to reduce the strain on your elbow by switching activities at work, using a machine to move heavy objects or by wearing a brace of some sort. Sometimes your physical therapist will use electrical stimulation to reduce muscle tension as well.
- Acupuncture: This is another method to reduce the pain from tension in your muscles.
- Oral Medications: Your pain physician will be able to prescribe stronger pain medications and anti-inflammatories that you can obtain over the counter. With reduced pain, you will be able to complete your exercises more easily.
- Injections: Your pain doctor will have suggestions for pain-relieving injections and or anti-inflammatory injections which can be administered to the site of the problem.
- Surgery: The last resort suggested by your knowledgeable pain doctor in NY or pain doctor in NJ at the pain treatment clinic will be surgery. Often the operation is completed with an arthroscope which means that your recovery time is faster since the incision is much smaller than traditional surgical methods. But if you do require traditional surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will repair the problem efficiently by removing damaged tissue that is causing you the pain.
- There are many treatments for the reduction of elbow pain.
- You are able to begin treatment at home as soon as you experience the pain.
- Accurate diagnosis is required to make sure you are treating the source of the issue, whether it be damaged tissue, a disease or a fractured bone.
- There are many pain treatment clinics in which you can receive an accurate diagnosis and non-invasive treatment.
- Your pain doctor will discuss the options that are suitable for your lifestyle and begin with the least intrusive to start treatment.
- Surgery is the last option, once all other methods have been exhausted.