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My Aching Elbow!
Last review: 08/12/10  JR Rogers

Most of us have been through this at one time or another. For a great many reasons, we can get hit with pain in our elbows that just drives us crazy.

What's up with elbow pain?

Most elbow pain comes from some kind of overuse of our forearm muscles. That is not to say that this is the only source of elbow pain but it seems to be a major complaint from those that have pain.

This is one area where rest is extremely important. In a great many cases, the forearm muscles have been overworked or have been used in some way that has caused the pain to begin with. It is a complaint you hear from tennis players and other athletes as well. Of course, it can happen to any of us.

The Simple Test

If you have pain in your arm, and in particular around the elbow area, stand up straight and let the injured side hang straight down. Then, reach across your body to the painful elbow using your other hand. If you feel anything at all protruding from the injured side, you have what the doctor is going to usually call "tennis elbow."

If "tennis elbow" is what you have, it is an inflammation of the tendons. The tendons in your forearm are attached to muscles in your forearm. When you "push" things a little too hard, you are going to get inflammation in that area. And, it hurts.

Business or pleasure?

This is a pain problem that can develop from sports activities or, it may happen just because you have worked that area of your body a little too hard. It may happen to construction workers, those who operate sewing machines, or simply those who work long hours at a computer.

Getting It Right

This is another signal from our body that we are doing something wrong. This also can mean a long course of medical treatments if not dealt with correctly which can be expensive from a medical standpoint.

You have to rest this kind of injury. Rest is one of nature's ways of healing. Most physicians will likely tell you to use an NSAID (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for pain relief. Any regular reader of these chronicles knows that I do not agree with using them. Recent news events have agreed.

If you have not been watching the news or reading the newspaper, NSAID's can be dangerous. An example of this would be ibuprofen. If that is not working, the doctors will tell you that you can move up the therapy to steroid injections. In my opinion, this is just another dangerous course of action. Finally, there is a new kind of medical treatment or therapy that sends sound waves into the injured area.

Scar Tissue

You need to be aware that scar tissue can form when you have this kind of injury. That in itself is not a good thing. For that reason, it is important to try to gain some control early on.

The Alternative Option

Rest the area! Do not try to just "work your way through it" and ignore reality. This can be a serious problem. Using a high-quality liquid glucosamine product will normally give you just as much pain relief as an NSAID without the risk of side effects.

I would also suggest that patience is needed here. It may take a few weeks to get things under control. Treat the injury with respect. It can cause you a great deal of harm in the long run so "listen to your body" and act accordingly.

Finally, if this does not appear to be the problem, see a physician.