The ligaments are strong, elastic-like bands which link one bone to another and keep the joints in place. A sprain is a ligament injury that occurs due to a tearing of the fibers of the ligament. The tear may be partial, or the ligament can be totally torn apart.
Sprained ligaments swell quickly and are exceedingly painful.
An elbow sprain occurs due to tearing of the ligaments which help stabilize the elbow joint. Common causes of an elbow strain are:
- Forceful twisting of the arm.
- A blow to the elbow joint.
- When you fall on an outstretched arm.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Sprained Elbow?
Clinical features of a sprained elbow include:
- Pain in the elbow and around.
- Swelling around the elbow joint.
- The joint is warm to touch and looks red.
- There may be some degree of bruising as well.
- Movement gets affected; and the range of motion of the joint is severely restricted.
- Slightest movement of the elbow triggers excruciating pain.
Home Remedies To Treat A Sprained Elbow
- Rest the elbow joint; this is the first aspect of the treatment of a sprain. Do not put any weight on the injured area for about 48 hours. On the other hand, don’t shun all activity. Keep moving the elbow slowly.
- Apply ice over the affected area. Use an ice pack over the elbow to help reduce the swelling after the injury. Apply ice as soon as possible after the injury; and place the ice bag for 15 minutes, 5 – 6 times a day, for the first 48 hours. Ice helps relieve the swelling and inflammation quickly; and consequently the pain gets allayed too.
- Compress the elbow with an elastic wrap or bandage.
- Elevate the elbow joint above the level of the heart whenever possible, in order to avert or decrease the swelling.
- After about 2 days, start using the elbow, but very slowly and gradually.
- Have a glass of ginger tea daily for 2 weeks. Gingerols in ginger help fight swelling and inflammation successfully. Boil about an inch of ginger in a bowl of water, add some honey and consume, once or twice a day.
- Your health care provider may recommend wearing a sling or a cast for added support and protection. It helps to immobilize and stabilize the elbow and expedite healing.
- In severe cases, your physician will advise you to use a cast. He may ask you to use it for up to 3 weeks.
- Physical therapy is advocated after about 5 – 6 days. Physiotherapy helps to restore the range of movement of the elbow joint as well as reinstate the strength in the joint too.
- Gentle massage in recommended too. Massage will increase blood flow to the affected area and hasten cure. It helps improve the movement in the joint and allays pain as well. However, make sure that you visit a licensed registered masseur. You could also use essential oils for the massage. Essential oils have tremendous healing properties which will greatly accelerate cure. Oils advocated are clove oil, nutmeg oil and ginger oil.