Most minor elbow problems go away
on their own. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your
Home treatment for minor problems
Home treatment may
help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
If you have swelling,
remove all rings, bracelets, watches, or any other jewelry that goes around your
wrist or fingers of the affected arm. It will be harder to remove the
jewelry later if swelling increases.
sling if it makes you more comfortable and supports
your elbow. If you feel you need to use a sling for longer than 48 hours,
discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
An elbow support, such as
an elbow sleeve, forearm wrap, or
arm sling, may help rest your elbow joint, relieve
stress on forearm muscles, and protect the joint area during an activity. A
counterforce brace may be helpful for tennis elbow
symptoms. Follow the manufacturer's directions for using the
Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and encourage
blood flow. Do not massage the elbow if it causes pain.
After 48 to
72 hours, if swelling is gone, apply
heat and begin
gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help
restore and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between
hot and cold treatments.
Do not smoke. Smoking slows healing
because it decreases blood supply and delays tissue repair. For more
information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.