When you suffer an elbow injury, it is not uncommon to experience inflammation and swelling. Depending on the severity of your elbow injury, it’s not uncommon for the throbbing and inflammation to last up to 14 days. As with any type of injury, it’s important to first learn what it is exactly that is causing your elbow throbbing pain.
Only a medical doctor can provide you with a professional diagnosis of why you are experiencing pain and inflammation in your elbow but there are basically three different types of elbow injuries that could be the source of your discomfort and difficulties.
The three most common types of elbow injuries reported each year are golfers elbow, tennis elbow and elbow bursitis.
Golfers elbow is characterized by elbow pain and swelling on the inside of your elbow. It occurs when the flexor tendon that attaches on the inside of your elbow becomes inflamed and swollen from performing repetitive actions or movements that puts strain on this tendon. As you continue on with the repetitive actions that wears down the tendon on the inside of your elbow, it starts to break down and develop small tears. It’s when the tendon tears and you resume your activities that you feel pain and a throbbing sensation in your elbow.
Tennis elbow is similar to golfers elbow except that the location of the pain is opposite of golfers elbow. Tennis elbow is characterized as inflammation, swelling and throbbing pain on the outside of your elbow. Again, similar with golfers elbow is that tennis elbow is caused by performing repetitive actions of the wrist, forearm and elbow that causes wear and tear on the extensor tendon that attaches at the lateral epicondyle of your elbow. Over time, the extensor tendon wears down from all the stress and strain to the point that small micro tears develop and cause your discomfort, pain and elbow tenderness.
The third kind of elbow injury you could be suffering from is a condition called elbow bursitis. This elbow injury mostly occurs from being on the receiving end of a sharp blow, fall onto your elbow or leaning on a hard surface with your elbows frequently. Besides the throbbing in your elbow, you may also notice that your elbow is red in color, tender to the touch and feels hot. What has happened is that the bursa sac, which is a fluid filled sac on the back of your elbow responsible for keeping your elbow joint lubricated, becomes inflamed from receiving a sharp blow or frequently being “pinched”. The best treatment for individuals suffering from bursitis of the elbow is anti-biotic cream which you can get at your local pharmacy.
Regardless of whether you are suffering from golfers elbow, tennis elbow or elbow bursitis, there are 4 simple steps that you can implement right now to help decrease your throbbing elbow pain.
These 4 simple steps are commonly known as the R.I.C.E. principles. This acronym is short for Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate. These principles have been medically proven to help control swelling and inflammation for any type of injury. Let’s go into more detail about what each of these letters really mean and how you can implement these steps right now!
Rest – If you do not give your injured elbow a break and much needed rest, you will only be extending your healing and recovery time. Research has proven that injuries simply heal faster when you rest. Individuals who continue using their injured arm may even experience muscle atrophy which can be extremely painful and literally have you sitting on the couch for days. You may even become dependent on others to perform even the most basic tasks around the house. Remember that as long as you have pain, rest is always good!
Ice – Helps reduce inflammation, swelling and throbbing pain of your affected elbow. You should ice your elbow for as long as there are signs of inflammation. Don’t be afraid to ice 3 times a day for up to 10 minutes at a time. But please do not apply ice directly to the skin as this can cause permanent skin and tissue damage. You can use an ice pack, or simply place ice cubes inside a Ziploc bag. Another simple way to ice your arm is to use a bag of frozen vegetables or peas.
Compress – Wrap the injured area with a bandage to reduce the swelling. Remember not to wrap the area too tightly as this will cut off the blood circulation to your injured elbow.
Elevate – When you elevate your arm above heart level, you prevent blood pooling. You want to keep the blood circulating through your arm as this helps promote muscle and tendon regeneration and recovery. Simply prop your injured elbow up on a pillow to keep your arm above heart level.
So which type of elbow injury is responsible for your throbbing and painful elbow? If it is tennis elbow where your pain is primarily on the outside of your elbow, I’ve got some great news for you!
Did you know that you can completely eliminate your tennis elbow pain and symptoms from the comfort of your own home, sitting in the chair you are sitting in right now watching your favourite television show – without any special exercise gadgets or medical gimmicks? What if I told you that it only takes 5 simple, easy-to-follow steps? Yes, it’s that easy!
Simply click on the Learn More button below and watch the short video tutorial!