Types of elbow therapy differ depending on the cause of the injury or disorder. Common types of elbow problems include bursitis, arthritis, dislocation and lateral epicondylitis. Lateral epicondylitis is more commonly known as tennis elbow. Different elbow therapy treatments include applying heat or ice, exercise, medication and surgery.
Surgery is mainly an option for severe cases of arthritis in the elbow. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints. Arthritis in the elbow joint doesn’t occur as commonly as it does in other body joints. In milder cases of this type of arthritis, a combination of rest, medication and applying ice is often the recommended therapy.
Dislocation of the elbow occurs when the hand is used to try and stop a fall. The impact and pressure jolts the elbow out of place. The usual common therapy for elbow dislocation is either heat or ice treatments or a combination of both. Sometimes, a doctor will also recommend elbow strengthening exercises as part of the therapy.
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is an extremely common injury. It’s not only caused by playing tennis or other sports, but also by any type of repetitive movements that strain the elbow joint. Constantly raising a telephone to the ear is a common cause of tennis elbow. Elbow therapy treatment for lateral epicondylitis is often the rest, ice, compress, elevation (RICE) method.
The repetitive movements that caused the tennis elbow should be stopped so that the affected arm can rest. Ice packs placed on the sore elbow can help soothe the joint. As part of the elbow therapy for lateral epicondylitis, a compress bandage should be wrapped around the injured joint loosely rather than tightly. For the final step in the RICE treatment for tennis elbow, the affected arm should be elevated above heart level.
Elbow bursitis requires medical attention. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps joints move smoothly; when it becomes inflamed, bursitis results. For elbow therapy in cases of bursitis, the bursa is usually drained in a doctor’s office. Once this treatment is done, elbow pain caused by the bursitis is often relieved. The physician may inject the natural steroid cortisone into the bursa to help relieve the inflammation of the elbow joint.