Elbow pain – it’s annoying, uncomfortable, and unfortunately present in so many daily movements. You go to stretch when you wake up in the morning and you experience that twinge. The pain might even stop you from doing the activities you love, such as playing with kids or grandkids, going golfing, or playing tennis.
The good news is, you don’t have to live with the pain forever. Here’s how to manage and heal your elbow pain so that you can get back to the life you love best.
Getting to the Root of Your Elbow Pain
The first thing you should when experiencing any kind of pain or discomfort in your body is to visit your doctor. A licensed medical physician can help you get to the root of the problem and recommend the right treatment for what’s ailing you.
Pain or discomfort in your elbow can be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some common causes of elbow pain to help you get the conversation started with your doctor:
- Dislocated elbow
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Sprains and strains
- Tennis elbow
- Trapped nerves
- Throwing injury
- Repetitive motions
Any of these, and more, could cause pain or distress in your elbow or the surrounding tissue. By seeing a physician, they could help to eliminate causes until the source of your discomfort is discovered. Once you know exactly what’s going on with your elbow, you can find the treatment that’s best for you.
Holistically Healing Your Elbow
While some causes of elbow pain, such as bursitis or rheumatoid arthritis, might require medication, some can be handled more simply and naturally.
If your elbow pain is caused by overuse or repetitive motions, then here are some treatments to consider:
- Icing your elbow – this can help reduce swelling and inflammation
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to help with the pain (such as ibuprofen)
- Wearing a splint to help reduce movement and rest the tendons in the elbow
These treatments are considered “quick fixes”, however. If you are experiencing pain due to a diagnosis of tennis elbow, or something similar, it might be more helpful to seek professional help. Your doctor could recommend that you see a physical therapist or hand therapist.
Hand Therapy – Not Just For Your Hands
“Hand therapy?” You might say, “But the pain is in my elbow, not my hands!”
Well, actually, because all of the tissues, tendons, muscles, and nerves in your arm are inter-connected, your elbow could benefit from visiting a licensed hand therapist. Hand therapy could help alleviate the pain in your elbow as well as potentially eliminate the need for drugs or surgery.
Some hand therapy services include:
- A customized evaluation and treatment plan for your arm and elbow
- Gentle stretching
- Range of motion or strengthening exercises
- Plan for continued at-home motion and strengthening exercises
- Customized splint to better rest and care for your elbow
While visiting a doctor is the first step, there are so many options when it comes to defeating your elbow pain and getting back to the activities you love most. Don’t let pain or discomfort get in the way of the life you want to live.