Integrative Spine & Sports provides treatment for elbow pain in Manhattan, NY at our Upper West Side practice.
Elbow pain is a very common complaint, especially for people who lead active lives both at work and in their spare time.
It’s common not only in people who dance or play contact sports but also in manual laborers. People who do lots of heavy lifting are especially prone to elbow pain since they often expose themselves to injury and muscle overuse/misuse.
Even children can suffer elbow pain when they fall the wrong way or when they’re handled improperly by adults.
And for those that live careful, healthy lives, elbow pain may still occur because of the wear-and-tear that comes with aging, as well as certain diseases.
Here, we explain the most common causes of elbow pain and the treatment methods our specialists use to get our patients on the road to recovery.
Elbow Pain Treatment in NYC
We treat the source of acute and chronic elbow pain, inflammation and disability caused by injury and biological abnormality, as well as the most common cause of elbow pain in NYC – overuse and repetitive strain.
We offer a number of non-surgical treatment options for conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, nerves, bony structures, and soft tissue of the elbow joint that can result in pain and inflammation and limit mobility, strength and flexibility.
Our holistic and integrative approach to treatment may include:
Our elbow pain specialists in Manhattan create custom treatments designed to meet the needs of people suffering from acute pain due to injury, as well as those experiencing chronic conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, nerves, bony structures and soft tissue of the elbow joint.
Our integrative team, consisting of a board-certified physiatrist, chiropractors, and physical therapists, offers comprehensive treatment for acute and chronic elbow pain treatment in NYC.
What elbow conditions can you treat?
Our treatment for elbow pain in NYC covers the following conditions:
What are the causes of elbow pain?
In most cases, elbow pain occurs due to injury occurring from misuse or overuse. These injuries can be as minor as strains (tearing a muscle) and sprains (tearing a ligament) or as major as fractured elbows.
Whatever the case may be, these one-time injuries will often occur with some lingering pain. If one gets proper treatment and enough rest, the pain should gradually disappear.
A strain is what happens when someone tears a muscle. When it’s a ligament that’s torn, it’s called a sprain.
One can usually tell sprains/strains by their common symptoms — pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty using the elbow. The patient may also experience muscle spasms and cramping.
When these things happen, the pain often goes away after a period of 2 days to 2 weeks. However, if the pain lasts beyond 2 weeks or becomes unmanageably painful, it’s very important to see a doctor immediately.
When one of the bones which form the elbow gets knocked out of place, that’s called a dislocated elbow.
Dislocated elbows can occur in fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, or in children when adults lift/swing them by their arms.
If someone experiences extreme pain or if there is obvious distortion of the elbow joint, seek immediate medical attention.
When one of the bones which form the elbow break, that’s called a fractured elbow.
Fractured elbows can occur due to sudden blows, like in contact sports, car accidents, or fall accidents.
These are very dangerous if left untreated, so they should be treated immediately to prevent infection.
Over time, as one uses (or misuses) their elbow, damage forms gradually on a microscopic scale.
Examples of elbow misuse are:
- Too many repetitive movements
- Awkwardly orienting the arms while doing everyday work
- Prolonged lifting, gripping, or pinching
If one isn’t careful, any of these actions could lead to a number of wear-and-tear injuries such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, bursitis, cubital tunnel syndrome, and more.
Without consistent maintenance treatments (such as shockwave therapy), this wear and tear can take a toll on the elbow. It can cause not only short-term elbow pain but also other long-term effects which may lead to even more pain.
A number of diseases (with varying degrees of pain) are known to cause elbow pain, such as:
For many of these diseases, elbow pain is an early symptom which can help the patient detect their presence before their symptoms worsen.
They usually manifest other symptoms as well, which allows a more accurate diagnosis of the problem.
If symptoms point to a severe disease like the ones listed above, seek immediate medical attention.
Elbow Pain FAQs
Some of the common symptoms of COVID-19 are “aches and pains”. Some patients do experience joint pain, sometimes in the knees and elbows. But this isn’t very common. Symptoms to watch out for are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. If the elbow pain gets worse or persists for longer than 2 weeks, consult a doctor.
Generally, the best position to sleep is on the back. Sleeping on one’s back helps ensure that the elbows aren’t assuming awkward positions that could aggravate the elbow pain. It also helps to prop up the arms on pillows on either side. This not only helps take stress off the neck, but also gives the arms their much-needed support.
To relieve elbow pain, doing some gentle elbow stretches can help. It’s best to do these stretches once swelling (if any) subsides. Heat therapy and cold therapy can also work well for pain relief. If elbow pain is a result of poor posture or a bad workstation setup, make the necessary changes to avoid elbow pain in the future.
Natural remedies for acute elbow pain are rest, ice, heat, and gentle stretching. Some people recover completely by just resting, but it’s possible to speed up the process by applying ice and heat to the affected area. If these don’t work after 2 weeks, or if the pain worsens, seek immediate medical assistance.
Most cases of elbow pain (which are often results of sprains/strains) subside naturally after a period of 2 days to 2 weeks. However, if the pain gets worse or persists after the 2-week mark, seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes, elbow pain is merely a symptom of a more serious or underlying condition, so pay attention to other symptoms that accompany the pain.
Mild elbow pain usually lasts between 2 days to 2 weeks. In some conditions (such as tennis elbow), elbow pain lasts anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Serious conditions with prolonged elbow pain require immediate medical attention Medical treatment often helps relieve chronic back pain, so we recommend consulting a physiatrist.
Acupuncture provides short-term relief for chronic elbow pain such as in conditions like tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. It helps relieve elbow pain by reducing inflammation. By stimulating the various acupuncture points associated with elbow pain, parts of the nervous system are also stimulated, which can help provide pain relief.
Sometimes, injury can be invisible, like what happens in cases of elbow osteoarthritis. Conditions like these are caused by wear-and-tear resulting from elbow overuse/misuse (e.g., too much heavy lifting, repetitive movements) and even aging.
If elbow pain is a common problem when lifting weights, try reducing the weight to a manageable number and work up from there. It can also be helpful to change up one’s exercise program. Focus on exercises that put less strain on the elbows and isolate the muscles that need working out. Doing negative reps also helps a lot.