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WHAT CAUSES ELBOW PAIN?
Even at its most mild, elbow pain can cause a drag on your daily life. Minor tasks, even as simple as taking out the garbage or cooking, can become tedious and cause longer lasting aches with an injured elbow.
This is not to mention the decreased enjoyment from hobbies like golf, or just playing catch with friends and families in the backyard.
And while activities like these can cause elbow pain, often it is caused by diseases such as arthritis, osteochondritis dissecans, and even lyme disease.
Regardless of what causes your particular elbow pain, relieving said pain should be a top priority.
Common ELBOW injuries that cause pain
As we age, the cartilage in our elbows wear down, and the more strenuous the activities associated with elbow movements, the more likely we are to deal with elbow pain as we get older.
Much like with knee injuries, the R.I.C.E. therapy option should be followed.
This is especially common with both amateur and professional athletes.
BASEBALL ELBOW INJURIES
While Tommy John surgery is the most talked about when it comes to elbow injuries in baseball, strains and sprains are more common and should be treated properly to prevent further issues.
Treatment for sprain or strain involves resting the injured joint and applying ice or a cold compress. This may take two to four weeks.
A person should avoid activities that could cause the elbow to bend sharply and further aggravate the injury.
Typically, with the injury known as Pitcher’s Elbow, the following steps are taken to reduce pain:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
- EPAT Shockwave therapy
- Tommy John surgery
- MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries
TENNIS ELBOW INJURY
Tennis elbow is a condition that develops when the tendons in the forearm and the elbow are injured due to rapid and consistent movement.
It usually develops from repetitive actions that involve the forearm, such as hitting a tennis ball. Tennis elbow can be categorized by a range of different injuries, including tendinitis, bursitis, and muscle strain. Luckily, it is usually temporary and doesn't require treatment, but it can be a sign of more serious health problems.
Obviously, this is most common in people who play the sport regularly. Tennis players often find that playing a particular shot causes a strain in the tendons in their elbow. This can then lead to the tendon becoming inflamed, or irritated and should be rested using R.I.C.E. therapy.
GOLFER'S ELBOW INJURY
Similar to tennis elbow, golfer's elbow is caused by rapid and consistent movement.
Many professional golfers have dealt with elbow injuries, and as athletes like Bryson DeChambeau continue to increase their driving range, we can anticipate seeing more elbow injuries like these.
How to treat and relieve ELBOW pain effectively
Most of the time elbow pain is a result of a minor injury that doesn’t require much attention. However, in some cases, it can be a serious issue that we should focus on.
The elbow is the most common joint to get injured. The problem is that most of the time the pain is due to inflammation and as a result the pain is sudden and intense.
For these types of injuries, R.I.C.E. therapy is effective, but always plan on at least 2 to 4 weeks until the area heals to the point of full activity.
However, more serious injuries, such as torn ligaments, usually require surgery which will keep you from using your arm for a prolonged period of time.
In short, don’t skip steps on your recovery time after strenuous elbow activities, and be sure to use ice and heat properly during this time.
- Rest: Take a prolonged break from the activity that caused the injury and rest your knee.
- Ice: Use a cooling agent to ice the injured knee for at least 10 minutes three times a day.
- Elevation: Elevate your injured knee above the level of your heart and ice the injury while doing so.
This should begin as soon as possible to increase effectiveness and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen can help alleviate the pain temporarily.
Heat therapy can also prove to be helpful during the Ice stage after 48 to 72 hours, if swelling has reduced. This will help increase in blood flow to the injured elbow and joints. This can also help to relax and soothe muscles in your elbow quickly.
How long does aN ELBOW injury take to heal?
As mentioned previously, even mild strains and sprains can take up to 4 weeks to fully heal, and this is when treatment methods are followed properly.
Elbow injuries that require Tommy John surgery can typically take up to a full year to heal, and sometimes even longer before you are back to your previous performance.
Simply put, if you have mild pain or swelling, rest your elbow and follow proper therapy steps. If your pain does not subside within a few weeks of R.I.C.E. therapy, you should consult a doctor for a more thorough diagnosis.
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