Elbow problems are relatively common, rarely serious and generally resolve in a short time with simple treatments.  There are a number of different conditions that may cause elbow pain:-

  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfers elbow
  • Arthritis
  • Compressive entrapment syndromes
  • Olecranon bursitis
  • Distal biceps rupture
  • Strains, sprains and fractures

Ways to help yourself

  • Rest/Activity

A balance between rest and activity is important to maintain good elbow mobility and prevent painful stiffness through disuse.  Avoid movements that cause pain which experience suggests occurs with gripping and rotating movements, reaching away from the body and lifting.  Continue to move the elbow into ranges that have little or tolerable pain, assisting the injured elbow with the pain-free arm is also helpful.  As pain levels improve try to move the elbow further until back to normal.

  • Hot or Cold Therapy

A hot water bottle, microwaved wheat bag or reusable heat pads can be helpful in soothing sore muscles applied for 20mins every hour or so.  Frozen peas or a bag of ice equally are effective in soothing sore elbows and reducing inflammation.  Ensure a towel or cloth is placed between your skin and the hot or cold treatment to avoid burns.

  • Analgesia (Pain Relief)

Simple analgesia, such as paracetamol could be used immediately to help with any ongoing ache, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen from 72 hours after injury can be helpful.  Discuss with your pharmacist the best combination and alternatives if pain remains intrusive.

When to Seek Professional Help

Unless you have had an accident or known cause for the elbow problem you are good to try a course of self-management for a couple of weeks.  At this time if symptoms are no better you are advised to speak with your doctor or better still, make an appointment to see one of our Chartered physiotherapists who will provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan within an hour of you meeting.

Treatments for elbow pain consist of:

  • Elbow joint mobilisations 
  • Soft tissue massage and trigger point release 
  • Individual tailored exercise programme
  • Acupuncture
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Taping
  • Education
  • Steroid injections
  • If together we feel that your elbow symptoms require further investigations or the skills of an orthopaedic surgeon we will (with your consent) request your GP initiates the appropriate referrals to the NHS or private providers.

Visit our pages on elbow pain for further details:- https://www.faypedlerclinic.co.uk/elbow-pain