This can sometimes be confused with Tennis elbow but a sprain is when a ligament is stretched, partially torn or fully torn. The ligaments hold the elbow bones together and sometimes more than one ligament can be damaged
THE CAUSE OF A SPRAIN TO THE ELBOW
Elbow sprains are usually caused by a direct blow or an unnatural movement that twists the elbow sideways or backwards.
ELBOW SPRAIN SYMPTOMS
The elbow will be tender and there maybe swelling. A tingling feeling may be felt in the forearm if a nerve has been injured giving both arm and elbow pain. Discoloration may occur.
HEALING AND RECOVERY
Use finely crushed ice to mould around the elbow and place a piece of cloth between ice and elbow to protect from frostbite. Do this for 15 minutes periodically during the first 24 hours Use a sling to immobilize if travel is necessary.
Avoid hot showers or heat penetrating creams as these will delay the healing process.
EXERCISES FOR ELBOW SPRAIN
- Fully flex the arm keeping it supported on the thigh.
- Raise the arm above the head and extend the arm at the elbow.
- Support the arm on the table with the hand going over the edge palm up and perform one full wrist curl. Repeat this twice, slowly and controlled.
- Perform this exercise again but this time with the palm down.
- Rest the arm on the table and move the wrist from left to right 10 times.
- Use a bar with a weight suspended from it with string. Wind it up and then unwind.
- Squeeze a rubber ball. This can be done whilst watching TV or chatting with friends or waiting for a bus.
PREVENTING A FUTURE ELBOW SPRAIN
Continue strengthening exercises after returning to sport. Always warm up as this will increase the body and muscle temperature Blood and oxygen will increase around the working muscles which will lubricate the muscles, joints and connective tissues and this will help reduce injury from sudden movement in the future.
Protection can be worn in the form of a brace or suitable support bandage.