Reclaim Your Active Lifestyle: Elbow Pain Treatments From a PT

Elbow Pain Treatment Irvine, CA

When consistent pain in the elbow starts interfering with life, a physical therapist may recommend professional elbow pain treatment to minimize discomfort. These treatments also aim to strengthen and restore elbow mobility, making it possible for patients to reclaim their active lifestyles. Since there can be many reasons behind elbow pain, the physical therapist will work to develop a treatment plan that alleviates your specific symptoms.

Isolating the cause of elbow pain

The first step in physical therapy (PT) will be to identify the exact cause of one’s elbow pain. The physical therapist will then recommend treatments designed for that specific type of elbow pain, preventing further damage. (For instance, tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow can worsen without treatment, especially if the patient continues to play their chosen sport.) Common causes of elbow pain include:

  • Elbow sprains or strains. Sprains affect the joint ligaments and capsule, while strains are muscle or tendon injuries
  • Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain. Affects the inner side of the elbow
  • Osteoarthritis (OA). Occurs when the joint cartilage and the bone beneath start to wear away
  • Tendonitis. Inflammation of the tendons
  • Tendinosis. When chronic overuse of the elbow causes the tendons to deteriorate

PT elbow pain treatments

A physical therapist may provide several elbow pain treatments. Each treatment aims to help restore mobility to the elbow and strengthen it to prevent reinjury once the patient becomes active again. Explore effective PT treatment methods below.

Therapeutic exercises and stretches

These are the main features of most PT treatment plans. The physical therapist will create an exercise routine that targets or accommodates the cause of one’s elbow pain, working to provide pain relief and improved function. Therapeutic stretches restore flexibility to the joint and help it warm up before exercising or cool down afterward.

The exact therapeutic exercises and stretches a physical therapist will recommend vary depending on the patient. However, some of the most commonly used in elbow pain treatment are fist clenches, elbow bends, wrist turns, towel twists, and wrist extensions and flexions.

Manual therapy

Manual therapy is a type of PT treatment in which the physical therapist will use their hands to help stretch the muscles around a joint and restore range of motion to the joint itself. Patients may initially confuse it with massage therapy, but its aim is not to get rid of knots for relaxation. Rather, manual therapy alleviates pain and helps make it easier to move the joint.

Instrument-assisted massage

Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) is essentially manual therapy with metal or plastic tools. Also known as the Graston Technique®, the physical therapist scrapes the tool over the arm and around the elbow in a soft tissue massage. This can cause some discomfort. However, it is not enough to need numbing cream. Per Verywell Health, IASTM can improve mobility, reduce pain, and increase tissue flexibility.

Consult a physical therapist

Elbow pain treatment from a physical therapist can help you become active again. That way, you can do what you love without having to compromise your long-term joint health. Contact our Irvine team today for your first appointment.

Request an appointment here: or call Orange County Physical Therapy OCPT, Inc. at (949) 777-5301 for an appointment in our Irvine office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Elbow Pain Treatment in Irvine, CA.

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