Have you experienced elbow pain severe enough to give you aches even in simple activities such as turning the doorknob? The elbows usually suffer pain from injuries in the tendons, which are responsible for connecting the muscles in the forearm to the bone in the elbow area. Common causes include lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow, medial epicondylitis or golfer’s elbow, bursitis, elbow sprain, fracture of the bones of the elbow, arthritis, cellulitis, infection in the elbow joint, ulnar nerve entrapment and tumor. These causes of elbow pain usually require patients to receive medical as well as surgical treatments for the case depending on the severity of the injury.
However, most people experiencing elbow joint pain may resort to using remedies as medical and surgical techniques may be deemed more expensive and may lead to several side-effects. In this line, the following remedies may be employed at home to serve as an adjunct treatment for elbow pain:
If pain doesn’t go away, rest is by far the most immediate remedy for elbow pain. If pain aggravates with movement such as turning the knob or moving the forearm, then you don’t need to take medications right away, simply rest your arms until the pain subsides.
Ice is also a good substitute for anti-inflammatory medicines. Although severe pain should be managed by pain relievers, mild to moderate pain can be relieved by cold packs. Cold compress tends to numb the area and it also reduces inflammation and swelling. Apply cold packs over the elbow at most 15 minutes 3 times a day.
• Warm compress
Warm packs may also help relieve pain through relaxing the area around the joint. Warm packs can be placed over the affected elbow for 15 minutes to allow the warmth seep through the injury and relieve pain. Warm packs can be placed alternately with cold packs for more effective results.
Immobilization is also a remedy for a painful joint. If you do not know yet the reason for the elbow pain, immobilization is a general rule to prevent further twisting of the elbow joint and the tendons. Immobilization also improves the healing time as the tendons, ligaments and muscles are rested while healing takes place.
• Capsaicin creams
Topical remedies are also effective to relieve elbow pain. Capsaicin is a natural component of chilli peppers and this substance is known for its analgesic effect. It reduces the signalling of pain messages by the pain receptors to the brain because of the counter irritant effect. Capsaicin creams are available in naturopathic and conventional drugstores.
• Arm stretches
Elbow may also be due to sprained muscles in the forearm, which also results in elbow pain. In this line, arm stretching may help relieve the sprain and reduce pain significantly. Do arm stretches by holding your affected arm straight with palms facing the ceiling. Use the other arm to push the fingers down while resisting the force on the affected arm. Hold the push for 20 seconds.
Massaging your elbows and the area around it helps relax the muscles and tendons along the area reducing pain from nerve irritation. However, make sure not to manipulate the arms when dislocation is suspected because it may lead to further misalignment in the elbow joint.
These remedies are already proven to relieve elbow pain. However, these do not provide treatment for any underlying injuries so seeking a doctor’s advice along with employing these remedies is more optimal for better healing.