Elbow, wrist and hand problems are common. It can sometimes be concerning if it is very sore, but it is rarely because of anything serious. Discomfort usually comes from irritated issues such as tendons or muscles. Sometimes the pain may travel into the rest of the arm making gripping and lifting difficult. Most elbow, wrist and hand complaints will improve with time and often you may not need to do anything about it. If your elbow, wrist and hand issue is not getting better, consider the following advice/ exercises.

What can I do to help?

Ice or heat: If your elbow  is painful then applying an ice pack, hot water bottle or gels may be helpful for reducing pain. A packet of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel works well as an ice pack. Leave the peas in place for up to 20 minutes at a time. This can be repeated several times a day. If using gels then check with your GP or Pharmacist if you have other health conditions/medications which may prevent this.

Reducing the strain: The best advice is to continue to use your elbow, wrist and hand as normally as you can. Whilst your elbow, wrist and hand is sore, it may be sensible to make some adjustments to what you ask your elbow, wrist and hand to do i.e. reduce (but not avoid) lifting, take more breaks, ask for help with tasks that are uncomfortable.

Rest: Aim for a balance between rest and exercise to prevent your elbow from stiffening up. Try to avoid the movements that are most painful. However, it’s important to remain generally active even if you have to limit how much you do. You are safe to exercise and use your elbow despite the fact that it might be a sore. Often, if you start avoiding things that you find difficult, it becomes more challenging to help the problem.

Exercise: Exercise, particularly strengthening exercise, is the best medicine for most aches and pains including elbows, even very sore joints. Exercise can be anything that challenges your muscles and does not need to mean going to the gym or the swimming pool, as not everyone enjoys these things.

A little post exercise discomfort is not uncommon and not a sign of damage. If you experience pain that regularly lasts for more than 30 minutes after exercise and feel that overall your pain is worsening please stop the exercises. Please visit our Contact Us page and see how to be referred to see us.