Ways of treating elbow arthritis
Elbow arthritis is the inflammation of the joint of the elbow and cause pain, stiffness and reduced range of movement. It can be caused trauma, overuse or getting older.
The elbow joint is lined with cartilage for support, flexibility and protection of the end of the joint from constant friction. Cartilage on the surface of elbow becomes damaged, results to elbow arthritis.
Causes of elbow arthritis
- Develops in people with injury on the joints while performing rough or impact sports such as basketball, soccer, football, wrestling, hockey, snowboarding and skiing.
- Occupations that require repetitive physical movement or motion for a prolonged periods of times such as painters and carpenters.
- Family member or a relative with a history of the condition.
- Being overweight which cause abnormal increase of pressure on the joints.
- Fluid accumulation due to inflammation
- Pain happens when performing movements using the affected joint.
- The joint becomes unstable and difficulty in performing regular task
- Incapable of flexing or extending the elbow
- Loss of fluids that moves the joint of the elbow
- Stiffness of the area or lack of joint movement due to pain and swelling
- Severe pain when turning or rotating the forearm
- Take plenty of rest especially the affected area. Avoid activities that cause pain for fast healing of the condition.
- Apply heat and ice on the area. Place heating pad or hot water bottle on the affected elbow to lessen the muscle spasms and the stiffness of the joint. Frozen gel pack place on the area to lessen the swelling and the pain. Another alternative is using plastic bag filled with ice and bag of frozen vegetable such as corn or peas is also good for the condition. Wrap heat and ice in a towel before placing to the area to prevent further irritations and worsen the condition.
- Wear the prescribed splint or brace to prevent unnecessary movement and for stability of the elbow joint especially when sleeping and performing activities.
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the swelling and the pain in the elbow.
- Prescribed oral steroid medications to lessen the inflammation and restore range of movement of the elbow.
- Injection of steroids into the affected joints to lessen the symptoms such as pain and increase range of motion of the affected joint.
- Performing gentle movement exercises with the help of the physical therapist for flexibility and strength of the muscles and restore range of movement of the elbow.
- Avoid being overweight to lessen abnormal pressure within the joints which increases the risk of developing arthritis.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables regularly.
- Use protective gear especially when playing high impact sports such as football to prevent injuring the elbow and other joints of the body.