painful elbow holding babyIt’s not uncommon for many new mothers or fathers to complain of elbow pain from holding their baby.  But what exactly is it and how can you stop this elbow pain so you can hold your baby with confidence?

The first thing to consider is the exact location of your elbow pain.  Is your elbow pain concentrated more on the outside of the elbow/upper forearm or is it more centralized on the inner elbow?

When you have discomfort and pain on the inner part of your elbow, this is more of a sign of a condition called golfers elbow.  The medical term is actually medial epicondylitis.  Golfers elbow does not just affect golfers.  It can happen to anyone and anytime, and yes even new parents who hold their baby.  Don’t let the name deceive you!  If your pain is on the inside, you have golfers elbow!

But if your elbow pain is more on the outside of your elbow and sometimes shoots from your elbow down your forearm and even into your wrist or hand, then this type of elbow injury is more associated with a tennis elbow injury.

Just like golfers elbow, you don’t even need to lift a tennis racquet to suffer from tennis elbow.  It affects both mothers and fathers equally when they hold their baby for long periods of time.

You would never think that holding your baby would cause an injury to your elbow but it’s much more common than you think.  The strain of holding your baby tight while your elbow is in a flexed position causes strain, wear and tear on your forearm extensor tendons that attach at your elbow.

As you continue to lift your baby and hold he/she tight, over and over again, is a repetitive action that eventually produces a small tear in your extensor tendon.  The longer you hold your baby, the bigger the tear will get.

So what can you do?

The simplest solution is switch arms every 3-4 minutes to give your arms a break.  Put your baby down as soon as you feel pain or pass them off to someone else.  Another option is to purchase a Baby Bjorn harness if you want to keep your baby close to you.

If you can’t do any of the above, then the next step is to heal and repair your torn extensor tendon.  But here is some good news!  You can treat and recover from your tennis elbow pain from the comfort of home without having to bundle your baby up and head to your Doctor’s office.

In fact, there are just 5 simple steps that you need to follow and implement.  And yes, you can do these as your baby sleeps so you can hold your baby and not worry about elbow pain any more!


painful elbow holding baby

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