Physical Therapy for Elbow Pain – About Physical Therapy for Elbow Pain

Physical Therapy for Elbow Pain

Physical therapy can help with your elbow pain. Although there are many causes of elbow pain, your physical therapist can help create a comprehensive treatment program addressing your specific problems, needs and goals.

Common Causes of Elbow Pain

The primary goal of physical therapy for your elbow pain is to decrease your pain and return you to your original activities as soon as safely possible. How fast you can recover depends on the specific cause of your elbow pain, its severity and how motivated you are in achieving your specific goals.

Physical therapy treatment options for elbow pain

Physical therapy for your elbow pain may include:

  • Ice and hot pack application
  • Ice pack application can help reduce pain and swelling in your elbow joint. Your therapist will wrap the ice
  • pack with layers of towel and apply over your injury for 20 minutes. Ice application is usually effective for acute
  • injuries in decreasing swelling and pain.

Hot pack is usually applied only when your swelling has significantly subsided. Hot pack application can help relax and soften tissues. In addition, it can stimulate blood flow to your joint, allowing faster healing.
RICE Therapy for Minor Injuries

Physical Therapy for Elbow Pain


Joint stiffness may result from not moving your joint for a long time, which can also make your muscles tight. This can limit your ability to move your elbow joint to its full range. Stretching the surrounding elbow structures can help improve your flexibility and range of motion. Your therapist can perform stretching of your muscles or he would teach you self-stretching techniques that you can perform your therapy or at the comfort of your home.


Your physical therapist can teach you exercises to help increase your arm and forearm muscle strength and promote overall fitness. Your therapist will guide you on how to properly do the exercises to avoid re-injury. Your physical therapist may advise you to continue doing the exercises at home.

  • Types of Range of Motion Exercises
  • Types of Range of Motion Exercises

Therapeutic Modalities

Therapeutic modalities, such as ultrasound and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) may be used by your physical therapist. Ultrasound is a treatment modality that uses high frequency sound waves that can penetrate deeper tissues. This is a heating equipment that can help relax tight muscles around your elbow joint and promote increased blood flow to your joint.

Elbow brace

Depending on your specific condition, your therapist may recommend that you wear an elbow brace or splint for a short time to allow healing of your elbow.

Patient education

Patient education is one important aspect of physical therapy. Your physical therapist will talk to you about your condition and what you can do to prevent future injury.

Other treatment options

Your therapist will probably use other physical therapy treatment options that will address your specific elbow problems. Note that different people have different specific needs and goals for physical therapy rehabilitation.

For faster recovery from your elbow pain

Your physical therapist will create a home treatment program for you, which you can do when you get home. Follow your therapist’s instructions and adhere to your home exercise program.
While physical therapy can help with most cases of elbow pain, others may require special treatment from a medical practitioner.

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Author: Steve

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