Elbow pain is caused by a variety of factors, but the most common is overuse. It happens when one overuses his elbow and forearm muscles due to some sports, hobbies, and occupations that require repetitive hand, arm, and wrist movements.
Though elbow pain can be caused by arthritis, too, the other joints are more prone to wear-and-tear damage than the elbow. These joints are usually found in the lower extremities since they carry the weight of the body.
The common causes of elbow pain include joint inflammation, arthritis, a broken arm, a dislocated elbow, golfer’s elbow, osteochondritis dissecans, osteoarthritis, strain, sprains, tendinitis, stress fractures and trapped nerves.
Pain in annoying and uncomfortable. If you have elbow pain, does it seem like you can’t get through the day without having pain in your elbow? Does the pain interfere with your daily activities? Depending on the cause and pain location, elbow pain can be effectively and easily treated with a few simple steps:
Remedies for elbow pain
Warm compress – If the pain is chronic and has been present for about two weeks, apply a moist hot pack on the elbow area and forearm. Do not directly apply the heat pad to the skin. Instead, cover it with a small towel or cloth. This will help bring back the blood flow to the area, promoting faster healing.
Cold compress – If the elbow pain and inflammation are not from an infection, the elbow should be elevated, and ice should be applied. The ice pack should be applied for about 20 minutes and remove it for another 20 minutes.
Stretching – Perform easy and gentle stretching exercises using the forearm. The stretching should be performed without pain, and you should feel a slight pull along the muscles. The exercise can be done for about 3 to 5 times per day.
Counterforce brace – This is a strap around the forearm called a counterforce brace. It dissipates the force from the muscles before it reaches the elbow area. This can be worn throughout the day and during all activities.
Wrist immobilization brace – If the cause of the elbow pain roots from the wrist, you may need a wrist immobilization brace to allow the wrist muscles to rest completely and reduce the burden of force applied on them.
Medicines – Some medications can help relieve pain and inflammation. Some medications can help slow down bone loss and prevent further joint damage. The common drugs used for elbow pain include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs are commonly prescribed for elbow pain, particularly those caused by arthritis. These drugs can reduce pain and inflammation.
- Corticosteroids – Steroids are used to control inflammation and reduce swelling. Usually, these are injected into the affected area, but others may take them as oral pills.
- Analgesics – Analgesics are pain relievers prescribed particularly for those suffering from arthritis. Unlike NSAIDs that control both pain and swelling, analgesics are just for pain.
- Gout medicines – If the elbow pain is due to gouty arthritis, the doctor may prescribe anti-gout medicines to lower the uric acid levels in the body. This will help prevent future gout attacks and flare-ups.
Surgery – If the elbow is infected and it does not improve with the remedies and medications, the doctor may recommend the surgical removal of the bursa, a thin lubricated cushion between joints.
Natural remedies for elbow pain
- Drink turmeric, which contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory agent. It also contains antioxidants that fight off free radicals to help fasten the healing process. Also, this spice is a natural painkiller.
- Ginger is another anti-inflammatory spice that can help relieve pain and swelling in any part of the body.
- John’s wort, which is often prescribed to help people with depression, can be used to relieve elbow pain. However, be sure to get clearance from a doctor before using it.
- Another potent spice is fenugreek seeds, which has many anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a paste and applied directly to the affected area.
- Compression sleeves worn on the elbow promotes blood flow to the area and speeds up healing.
- Elevate your elbow to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the forearm and wrist area.
- Perform simple stretching exercises and warm-up to keep the tendons from getting hard and stiff. If there is a pain, stop the exercise and rest your muscles.
- Elbow compression is also an effective method of reducing pain in the elbow. You can wrap the painful part of the elbow in an elastic bandage and wrap firmly to provide support.
- Garlic is also one of the most potent natural remedies for elbow pain. This natural cure has been used for hundreds of years to relieve bacterial infections, flu, cancer, and It contains allicin, a very potent chemical that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.