So perhaps you had a fall, or got your arm caught in something, which caused immediate or delayed elbow pain. Firstly, I need you to pause the video and make sure you aren’t experiencing any of the ‘red flags’ below:
If you are experiencing any of the following please consult a doctor asap or go to the emergency department of your hospital.
For more information about ‘red flags’ watch this video (click here).
You should apply an ice pack, for up to 20 mins every two hours. Just be sure to put something between the ice pack and your skin, such as a towel or ice pack holder and make sure you check every few minutes for any skin irritation.
Applying compression to the area will help to decrease any swelling and inflammation that may have started to develop. So using a compression bandage, starting at the middle of your forearm, overlapping the bandage by half the width each time, come up and above your elbow to around the middle of your upper arm.
You want to apply the compression firmly, but not too tight. Signs that it may be too tight include your fingers going numb or getting pins and needles, or any change in colour of your hand or fingers. Remove the bandage when you go to bed, only wear it during the day.
Avoid massaging or putting heat on the area and avoid drinking alcohol as all of these may increase any inflammation that may be present.
If your elbow is painful when, for example bending it, avoid this action for now but do try and keep moving your shoulder and hand on that side within a comfortable range.
One of the most important things is that you try not to get stressed or anxious about your pain. Just try to stay calm and know that pains like this are common and can be treated.
I recommend that you try and see a physiotherapist in the next 48hours, so that they can assess you and work out what’s most likely causing your pain and guide you through rehabilitation.