Elbow pain comes from structures within the elbow joint or from structures adjacent to the elbow joint. In most cases, elbow pain is due to overuse or strain placed on soft tissues (such as tendons) due to work, sports, or accidents. Other causes include injury to the elbow muscle, damaged ligaments, joint inflammation (bursitis), arthritis, stress fractures, tendinitis, dislocated elbow, throwing injuries, tennis elbow, ligament tears, radial nerve compression and infections and tumors of the elbow. Reputable multi-specialty centers in Brooklyn, NYC offer elbow pain treatment using a combination of nonsurgical methods.
Elbow pain is common among people who engage in sports like tennis, baseball, golf, and boxing. Common signs and symptoms include –
- Weakness of the wrist
- Severe pain and burning sensation that occur outside the elbow
- Pain when gripping, lifting and carrying
- Pain and stiffness in the joints
- Difficulty in extending the forearm fully
- Chronic pain when lifting/bending the arm
If you happen to experience swelling, severe pain and bruising in the elbow or have difficulty moving the joint, (particularly turning the arm from the palm up to the palm down position, or the other way round), see a physician immediately. In multi-specialty healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC, pain management doctors work with orthopedists, chiropractors, physical therapists, neurologists and rehab specialists to treat joint conditions. Treatments range from basic to complex, and therapy recommended will be based on the patient’s condition, severity of symptoms, and other factors.
- Physical therapy – Physical therapy includes therapeutic exercises such as gentle stretching, strengthening, stabilization and aerobic exercises to help reduce the intensity of elbow pain and prevent re-injury.
- Ice and heat application – Applying ice packs reduces inflammation. The basic procedure involves keeping an ice pack (thrice a day) for about 15 minutes on the effected elbow. Heat application loosens the tissues, thereby stimulating blood flow to the area. Keeping the arm in an elevated position and using a compression bandage can help reduce the swelling.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) may be recommended to relieve pain.
- Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) – TENS uses low-voltage electric stimulation that interacts with the sensory nervous system to alleviate pain.
- Game Ready Compression – This modality involves use of controlled cold therapy and intermittent compression to promote faster healing. It works well after surgery, during rehabilitation, or for those recovering from sports injuries throughout training and competition.
Elbow pain can be prevented or reduced by minimizing the amount of stress placed on the joint. Other self-care strategies include avoiding activities that strain the muscles and tendons, giving the arm proper rest, wrapping the injured area with a brace, and taking regular breaks in between activities.