Your elbow -- formed by the humerus (upper arm bone) and the ulna and radius (two bones which make up the forearm) -- is much less prone to wear-and-tear damage than your other joints, though pain is often caused from overuse. It lets you lift, throw, hug, swing, among many other things, because the elbow isn’t a simple joint meaning a lot can go wrong. Each bone has cartilage which acts as a shock absorber and allows them to slide against one another. They are then stuck together with tough tissues called ligaments. Your tendons connect these bones to muscles which give us the ability to move our arm the way we do. Elbow pain can occur when something happens to these parts, even the nerves and blood vessels surrounding them. At United Rehab Physical Therapy, our physical therapist in Shirley can help relieve your elbow pain.
Causes of elbow pain
Some of the most common causes of elbow pain include, but are not limited to:
Treatment for elbow pain varies depending on the cause and the severity. For minor cases, your doctor may prescribe pain medication, but in more severe situations, surgery may be the only option. Whether you may be in a pre- or post surgery situation or just going on with your days dealing with the elbow pain, more often than not, physical therapy is the best way to restore an injured elbow back to normal function. Our physical therapist in Shirley can create a personalized plan to resolve your elbow-related pain.
In addition to nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, treatment for minor sprains and strains may include compression, rest and ice packs. Stress fractures and elbow-pain fractures usually require rest and some form of external support, may this be a sling, cast and/or brace. Other causes, such as cellulitis or abscesses of the elbow, typically require the need for antibiotics and/or drainage. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis may require a number of different treatments, and may even result in surgery.
With physical therapy, the goal is to put less stress on the elbow while allowing it to heal properly. Sessions will vary from patient to patient, but may include active stretching and strengthening exercises. Our therapist may also work with you to prevent future injuries, which may involve changing the way you do a particular activity or sport. Schedule an appointment with our physical therapist in Shirley today to begin treatment for your elbow pain.