The human body can only take so much. When you are constantly repeating an action that puts stress and pressure on a part of the body, such as the elbow, it will eventually break down. The body needs time to heal, and if you do not give it that time, the problems and the pain will only get worse down the line.
How Do the Injuries Occur?
Whenever someone does the same motions repeatedly without enough rest, it causes the tendons and ligaments in the elbow to work harder than they are meant to work. Unless someone is able to give the elbow time to rest, they could suffer from an overuse injury. Athletes who are repeatedly using the same motions for throwing are susceptible to this type of injury. It can also affect those who have an occupation that requires repetitive motion of the elbow. Its important to note that children are at a high risk because their bodies are not able to handle the same amount of stress as an adult.
What Are the Symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms of an overuse injury in the elbow include pain and tenderness in the affected area. In addition, the elbow could swell, which can limit mobility. Some patients also report a numb feeling or a tingling sensation in the elbow. The joint may also start to make popping sounds when it is moved.
It is best to catch potential overuse injuries as early as possible, as they will be easier to treat. In the beginning, it is often possible to remedy the situation with plenty of rest for the affected area. The doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, and they may advise you to put cold compresses on the elbow to help with swelling. Physical therapy is another option to try. To help the elbow rest, the doctor may want you to use a splint or a brace on the elbow.
These methods can be effective in treatment. However, those who do not respond to these options may need to talk with their doctor about surgery. The same is true for those who have a severe condition. The surgery can help to remove some of the inflamed areas, which should alleviate the pain. The healing time for the surgery will vary by patient, so you will need to speak with your doctor about what to expect and your overall prognosis after the surgery. They will also let you know what types of therapy can help you get your strength and range of motion back.
Do Not Ignore the Problem
Your elbows are very important joints and if they have issues, it will affect your ability to do many of the things that you now take for granted. If you notice issues with your elbow, start by resting the area, but make sure you make an appointment with the doctor to get a proper diagnosis. The earlier you realize that you are suffering from an overuse injury the sooner you will be able to make changes and start to heal.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a Michigan Hand and Wrist Surgeon, please contact us at either (248) 485-8300 or (734) 943-3838.