How to Stop Swollen Elbow Pain

May 28, 2010 by  
Filed under tennis elbow

When you have swollen elbow pain, the first thing you need to do is get ice on it right away.

There could be many different reasons why you are experiencing swelling and inflammation in your elbow but unless you get it under control, you it will be difficult to start the healing process.

If you just bumped your elbow, then obviously this is the main reason why your elbow is  swollen.   For others, if your elbow has been swollen for sometime now and you have no explanation as to why then you need help to figure what exactly is going on.

The worst thing you can do is panic and think that you’ll need surgery on your elbow.  There are various types of elbow injuries that can cause pain, inflammation and swelling of the elbow.

How badly swollen is your elbow?

To check this get yourself a measuring tape.  Measure the circumference of the upper part of your forearm nearest to your elbow.  Compare the sizes of both your affected and non-affected elbows.  If the difference is 1 inch(2.5cms) or more then you can say that your elbow is swollen.

What physical happens when you experience swelling in your elbow?

Your elbow may swell in response to injury, infection or disease.  Swelling can occur if your body is not efficiently circulating fluid well.

The first thing you should do is figure out the exact location of the swelling.

Is the swelling on the inside of your elbow or is it more on the outside of your elbow?  Is the area red in color and is it tender to the touch?  Is your pain and swelling on the inside of your elbow?  Does it hurt when you grip a doorknob to turn it?  Does it hurt to shake someone’s hand?  What about gripping something as simple as a coffee mug, any pain or discomfort?

So now that you’ve answered yes or no to the above questions, let’s narrow it down to what exactly is going on with your swollen elbow.

 

Why the Location of Your Swollen Elbow Pain Is Important

 

If the location of your elbow swelling is on the back of your elbow, is tender and hot to the touch and is red in color, there is a good chance you are suffering from bursitis.  What that means is that you have a small fluid filled sac called the “bursa” that is located near your elbow joint that has become inflamed.  You probably recently bumped your elbow or had a fall and this is most likely the source of your elbow swelling.  The best treatment for bursitis is antibiotics which can be prescribed to you by your doctor or pharmacist.

What if you have swelling on the inside of your elbow?  If this is the case, then you most likely are suffering from golfers elbow.  Golfers elbow which is medically known as “medial epicondylitis“, is a repetitive stress injury that is  caused by the overuse of the elbow tendons that connect to the various muscles in the forearm which lead to the flexors which lead to the hand and wrist.

There are some high risk activities that can cause golfers elbow, such as baseball, football, volleyball, any type of manual labor jobs or hobbies that require a tight grip on an object for an extended period of time.  The best cure for golfers elbow is rest and specific golfers elbow exercises.

The third possible cause for your swollen elbow could be tennis elbow.  And I know what you are thinking, “But I don’t play tennis”.  You don’t have to play tennis to develop tennis elbow.  The fact of the matter is that 95% of reported cases of tennis elbow are reported by people who don’t even play tennis!

Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis which it’s known as in the medical community, is described by sufferers as pain, swelling, inflammation and stiffness on the outside of the elbow.  It can be tender to the touch and the pain can sometimes radiate down the elbow into the forearm.  Sufferers report stiffness when they wake in the morning and can even experience pain that keeps them up at night.

To be brutally honest with you … all it really takes to completely eliminate your elbow pain and swelling to cure your tennis elbow for good are 5 simple, step-by-step techniques that you can do from the comfort of your own living room, sitting in your comfy chair watching your favorite television show without any special exercise equipment or medical gadgets!

 

It’s free!

** I Want Your Comments **

22 Responses to “How to Stop Swollen Elbow Pain”

  1. Singh on February 28th, 2011 1:43 am

    i hurt my elbow joint two weeks ago, inner side elbow have swelling and pain when i bend my elbow. please let me know how solve my problam. Thanks

  2. tenniselbowtips on February 28th, 2011 7:17 am

    Hi Singh,

    Pain and swelling on the inside of the elbow is indicative with a golfers elbow injury. To overcome golfers elbow, you simply follow the same treatment path as for tennis elbow.

    Best Regards
    Geoff

  3. Justin on April 11th, 2011 6:02 pm

    You know the indent on the elbow when you straighten your arm well on mine it is swollen t and i was wondering what it is and if i need to see a doctor oh and it happened april 6th and today is april 11th

  4. Dede on May 15th, 2011 8:04 am

    My daughter called and said she fell walking across the dance floor of a wedding where there was water on the floor. (last night) She is 26 & in good health. Her elbow is swollen and hurts. I told her to ice it and take ibuprofen. should she go to the ER and get an xray or wait a couple days?

  5. Kevin on May 21st, 2011 6:31 pm

    I hurt my left elbow yesterday when I did judo. now it is swallon a bit with dark reddish color on the skin where the ijury spot is (on the side direction facing to my body). I think I might have bursitis and what I’ve done so far is bandaging my elbow, is there any other treatments beside antibiotics and before I visit the doctor?

  6. tenniselbowtips on May 22nd, 2011 12:01 am

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m guessing that you took a hard fall at Judo or your elbow suffered a direct blow. This is how most cases of elbow bursitis occur. Besides your elbow having pain, red in color, it should also be hot and swollen. As for treatment options, antibiotic cream from the doctor or pharmacist is your best bet but in the meantime apply some ice – it will give you temporary pain relief.

    All my best,
    Geoff

  7. jason on July 5th, 2011 6:53 am

    I hurt my elbow during a fall it is swollen on the outside of the elbow and it hurts to raise it or lower it what treatment could I use for this condition

  8. richa on July 7th, 2011 7:36 am

    i m 25 yr old and never had any injury to my elbow but it swells up every time i lift heavy things or write 2-3 hours and nt having any pain in my elbow but swelling causes discomfort and i feels like as if my arm is heavy. area which mainly swells up is inner side near to my waits. Is this can cause any problem in future?

  9. Plumbers Elbow | How to Stop Painful Plumber's Elbow Fast | TennisElbowTips.com on July 21st, 2011 11:06 am

    […] you are suffering from a swollen elbow, it’s always best to get some ice on it right away.  This will not only prevent the swelling […]

  10. Maureen Merrison on September 4th, 2011 1:51 am

    Hi,

    Five weeks I went to my doctor with dreadful pain in my left elbow. He had a look and a feel of it and said it was tennis elbow. Then asked what I had been taking for it. I told him I had been using what he gave me for Degenerative Bone / Arthritis in the wrist of the same arm. Meloxican and Oruvail Gel. He said keep using that then and Co-codamol. This doesn’t work. My husband even bought me a Tenease Machine, but I stopped using it as it made it worse, Ithink. The elbow is slightly swollen, on the the outside, tender to touch and seems to have travelled down the fore-arm. If I wake in the night I can hardly move the arm and the pain is excruciating. I have no confidence in my doctor and rarely go to him. Do you think this is Tennis Elbow or could there be something broken. It’s been abut 8 weeks now. Thank you.

  11. tenniselbowtips on September 5th, 2011 8:12 am

    Hi Maureen,

    Thank you for your comments.

    If it’s been 8 weeks and there is still inflammation and swelling, it is possible that there could be something more serious happening then tennis elbow. Usually, the swelling and inflammation that occurs when you have a tennis elbow injury is only present for the first 2 – 3 weeks. After this period, the extensor tendon on the outside of the elbow starts to degenerate.

    Has your husbands grip been getting weaker? Does he fumble and drop things often? Have you tried applying ice to the arm, any pain relief?

    It wouldn’t hurt to have the arm x-rayed to rule out a broken bone.

    Best Regards,
    Geoff

  12. nekalys on December 22nd, 2011 7:06 am

    me and some of my friends were misssing around and i was pushed into the shower and i hit my elbow on the soap dish in the wall and i feel it is broken

  13. vidhya on January 10th, 2012 5:18 am

    actually i slept on my elbow joint..i dont have any other cause..i am having pain in my elbow joint nd just down medial side..only medial side…starting period it was paining nd i got swelling also..some time swelling is coming down into the forearm…bt after 2-3 days pain is reduced….bt swelling also reduced…bt i cant keep straight my left hand… .what kind of treatment shall i take???

  14. cherie on January 10th, 2012 8:19 pm

    I have recently joined a gym and was lifting weights. About a hour after i got done my elbow down into my forearm and up into my bicep was swollen. i applied ice and if i push on it the indention of my finger briefly stays in the swollen area. I have no pain but wonder what i could have done and what may help….i have no health insurance and want to try to see if i can get it to go down on my own….Any suggestions?? Thanks

  15. tenniselbowtips on January 11th, 2012 7:14 am

    Hi Cherie,

    Thanks for your comment.

    If you’ve just started out at the gym, you can expect to experience some muscle soreness and tenderness as you get into a regular routine. I’m going to guess that you were doing bicep curls with dumbbells(which may have been to heavy for you to keep proper/correct form) and this may be the reason for your elbow inflammation. When/if you go back to the gym, my best advice is to avoid dumbbells altogether and stick with barbells. Barbells limit your range of motion and don’t allow your joints to become susceptible to injury. Keep the ice on your arm over the next few days for 10mins at a time and avoid the gym for at least 3-4 days.

    All my best,
    Geoff

  16. shawn on February 1st, 2012 5:42 pm

    i fell on my skateboard and landed on the concrete. my left elbow took the force of the fall with my body landing on top of my arm.. i heard a pop and felt almost ammidiate stiffness and burning. did not hurt to move at first but about ten mins after the fall i couldnt close or fully extend my elbow. the outside of elbow has began to swell with a small lump. i can make a fist but cannot squeeze. when i move my fingers i feel small pain in elbow. i cannot rotate or really move arm to much without pain. it kinda feels like it needs to pop but wont. is this just a bad sprang or something worse. im in a possition in life where i cannot miss work. please tell me what u think could be wrong

  17. tenniselbowtips on February 2nd, 2012 3:21 am

    Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for your message.

    I am not a Doctor so it would be negligent of me to tell you exactly what is wrong with your elbow. You should first have your elbow looked at by a Medical Doctor but…

    It is rare to suffer a tennis elbow injury from receiving a direct blow to the elbow so it’s my opinion that you don’t have tennis elbow. You most likely have Olecranon bursitis, especially if you have a bump at the back of your elbow, it’s red, may feel hot and is tender to the touch. At this point, apply ice 2-3 times a day for 10 minutes for pain relief.

    All my best,
    Geoff

  18. Amber on February 27th, 2012 7:42 am

    I have a node towards the outside of my elbow. It’s not red, just a bump and it’s been around for a while but now it hurts a lot. I’ve got exams and it’s on my right elbow (I’m left-handed) so it’s my support while I write. I bumped the same place around multiple times so what do you think?

  19. Michelle miller on April 22nd, 2012 9:09 am

    Hi I was playing basketball on Friday my elbow was fine
    At dinner on Saturday night it started to hurt
    It hurts on either side of the elbow, pain going down to the
    fingers. It hurts to grip objects. Swelling is very little but
    the center of the elbow feels bigger
    Since it hurts on both sides of the elbow not sure if it is tennis
    elbow
    How do I get rid of the pain hurts a lot
    Thanks!

  20. shawn on May 23rd, 2012 4:19 pm

    have elbow swallen lke little sac and it does not hurt i gone to my doctor and he did not even touch or looked at it thearly. and he say just take some benadryl or motrin and wrap tight on my elbow and see f it goes down. and if it does not go down go to emergency they’ll drain it out.. am not empress with that.. i understand it does not hurt but what casuses this..? and where the liquid comes from? am also very care full on my diet am mainly vagitarian on my diet very care full on my diet. after i wrap my elbow .. i see it gone down little bit.. but it still there.. what else i do to get rid of it or should i get it drain..?

  21. alice on July 21st, 2012 12:19 pm

    My dad fell & hit his elbow on the computer desk & his elbow his suck in & you cant feel a bone there now. what does that mean

  22. Bob on September 10th, 2012 4:34 pm

    My elbow has been sore for a few weeks, and is getting worse every day.It is sore right at the tip and also the bone to the inside of it. when i let my arms hang there is a quite noticible swelling there. No insurance, so can’t even get it looked at…any ideas or suggestions?

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