Elbow pain is very common, affecting many people for various reasons. Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are the two most common elbow diagnoses. You can usually treat elbow pain effectively at home, but this does depend on the cause and location of the pain.
Causes of Elbow Pain
Repetitive or prolonged lifting, pinching, or gripping could lead to overuse of the wrist muscles. These muscles commonly get overused when carrying heavy boxes, working on an assembly line, lifting too much weight at the gym, or playing tennis or golf among other sports. Sometimes people can identify how they overused these muscles, other times it can be more difficult.
It’s possible to develop pain when you improperly sit at your computer at work or after gripping the steering wheel on a long drive. You should try to monitor how you use your arms throughout the day in order to determine the cause and make changes.
Although elbow pain can go away without any treatment, it may take several months. But there are ways to speed this up before the pain gets unbearable. There are four things you can easily do yourself to ease your elbow pain. It’s also advised not to lift heavy objects and give your arm time to rest and recover.
If your pain has been going on for over 1-2 weeks, it means it’s chronic. Take a moist hot pack and place around your forearm and elbow. Make sure to avoid direct contact of the skin with the heat. Heat will increase blood flow and nutrients to the area to speed up the healing process.
Do some mild stretching of the forearm muscles. Don’t do any stretches that increase your pain. When performing stretches, you should feel a pull along the muscles, but there shouldn’t be any elbow pain. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat 10 times. You should perform these stretch routines 3 to 5 times a day.
3. Counterforce brace
Maybe you’ve seen some people who walk around having a strap around their forearm. There is a high chance that it was a counterforce brace. This helps to disperse the force from the muscles before it reaches the point of your elbow pain.
Place the most padded section 3 finger widths below the place of your pain for proper fit. The brace needs to be snug but not tight to the point that you are cutting off circulation to your hand. It’s best to wear the counterforce brace for an activity.
4. Wrist immobilization brace
For those with severe elbow pain or when they also have forearm pain present, a wrist immobilization brace may be more beneficial than the counterforce brace mentioned above. Immobilizing the wrist enables your wrist muscles to fully rest and keeps them in a proper position for faster healing. Wrist braces are sold at most drug stores and can be worn during activities.
If none of these treatments help or your pain persists longer than 3 weeks, you should probably see a elbow pain specialist. Try and avoid repetitive activities to prevent elbow pain from occurring. If you suffer from elbow pain, try to determine the root cause so that you can make adjustments.