Elbow pain can occur due to a number of reasons. Usually it can be due to simply some strain or inflamed tendons and you can cure them on your own without going to an orthopedic elbow specialist. Let us discuss as to how it all works.
How Does An Elbow Work?
Orthopedic doctors will first according to their training and practice share with their patients as to how the elbow works before proceeding with the treatment. We are going to do the same as well. Each arm has three major muscles. The bone, which is long at the top of the arm known as humerus that proceeds to join two forearm bones known as radius and ulna. It is a joint that enables you to bend your arm. The radius’s upper part rotates so that twisting your forearm is made possible.
The muscles that are attached to the outside of humerus allow straightening of fingers and wrist. Travelling outside the elbow, these are connected with the brain as well as the nervous system via radial nerves.
On the other hand, muscles attached to the inside of humerus enable you to bend your fingers and wrist resulting in grasping action. These are also connected to both the brain and nervous system but via the median nerve, that runs in front of the elbow. Finally running inside is the ulnar nerve that allows movement of small muscles. The current type feeling hitting you while bumping your elbow against something is actually the ulnar nerve being pinched.
Treatment of Elbow Pain
Now that you are well aware about the working of the elbow, let us discuss as to how elbow pain can be treated.
Changing How You Move
The first thing you can do is, changing the way you move your elbow. If you observe that certain movements and actions are causing the pain, you might want to avoid that. In addition to that if you feel that the pain flares up in certain positions, you are sure to not move your elbow that way. In case of one being a mechanic or belongs to a field that involves repetitive elbow movements, then you might want to consult a therapist.
Drugs such as paracetamol can be used to relieve the pain. However, it is suggested to take them before the pain starts to become unbearable. There are drugs available readily in the market such as ibuprofen that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help with the pain, stiffness and swelling. If using the drugs results in stomach problems, you might want to consult a doctor who can recommend gels and creams as a substitute.
In some conditions or movements where using the elbow causes pain, splints can be used to support your elbow. Easily available at sports shops, chemists and physiotherapists, splints can help significantly in reducing your pain and while you are at it, ask the pharmaceutical professional or your doctor as to how can you use it.
Heat and Ice Packs
Heat and ice packs have been recommended by doctors and therapists in certain conditions to help ease the pain. You can use a water bottle made specifically for the purpose, heat it up and use or even purchase ice packs for the purpose. If you do not happen to have ice packs, you can use frozen peas as well, they shall also work like a charm. Always remember that heated water bottles or ice packs should not be directly applied to the skin, they should be wrapped in a towel or anything similar as it can irritate or even burn the skin.
Exercises and Physical Therapies
With time, not moving your elbow can stiffen it. Exercises and physical therapies will help you in avoiding that. Rest is necessary but not more than a few days. Exercises and physical therapies will help your elbow gain strength and flexibility. Start by simple exercises so that you are able to observe pain reduction. if your elbow was pain caused by an exercise, you should stop that workout.
If the pain is acute or if you don’t see a relief in pain after 6-12 months of rest or rehab, your doctor may recommend a surgery.
Overall, elbow injury doctors McLean will be able to cure your pain without undergoing surgery. It is not often in such cases that a surgery is required. With so many techniques and treatments available, doctors are able to provide relief from elbow pain.