Here are some simple tips on what you can do to prevent and ease elbow pain and when to get help from an expert.
Smoking can slow down and interfere with the healing of bones, skin and other body tissues. As a result, recovery from an elbow injury can be slower or less complete.
Positions and Activities to Help Manage Your Pain
Epicondylitis – Tennis and golfers elbow
Epicondylitis is the most common type of elbow pain, but can significantly affect daily life at its most severe. If you have been diagnosed with epicondylitis, try this simple exercise program (hyperlink) to help manage symptoms. Also, try to recognize what makes your symptoms worse, such as repetitive strains or poor ergonomics, and modify your activities to address undue strain on the elbow.
Nerve pain from the elbow can present as tingling or numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers, which can often be painful at night time. To help reduce the pain at night, try using a brace or towel to keep the elbow straight. This can help reduce the strain on the nerve and lessen the pain at night.
Exercise Regularly – Get Active!
Elbow pain is often triggered by specific movements or positions. If this is the case for you, try to keep track of what brings on your symptoms and adapt your routine or positioning around these factors.
Strengthening the muscles around the elbow can help to stabilize the joint, which in time can relief pain. The ESP will discuss a management plan specific to you, but prior to you appointment try to strengthen the elbow as much as possible.
Avoid Lifting Heavy or Awkward Objects
But if you must… let your legs do the work. Hold the weight close to your body and avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Ask for help if the object is heavy or awkward.
Keep your elbows close to your body and at 90 degrees, where the bicep muscle is most able to support the elbow.
Keep Your Elbow Moving!
One of the biggest myths after suffering an elbow injury is to immobilize the elbow to protect it from further injury. However this often leads to stiffness, more pain and longer recovery.
If the elbow swells it can lose movement and you may not be able to straighten it all the way. After ruling out serious injury, gently bending and straightening the elbow can help remove the fluid from the joint capsule to regain movement. Starting movement early can help reduce the risk of long-term reductions in movement from the soft tissue tightening.