Elbow joint very sore, any ways to speed up the healing process?
December 3, 2013 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Didn't touch a DSLR for months, then this past weekend, went to photograph a festival going stage to stage carrying heavy lenses for ~8 hours a day. Just tired the next day. But the following day, can barely move my right arm.

My elbow joint is very sore. Painful to lift up my arm, clicking the mouse / pushing buttons / turning on light switches hurt as well. Can't bend my arm very well and have to keep it very straight. Most pain is when I mimic photographing / hold a DSLR again so it's definitely that... yet there was no pain at all yesterday, just tired.

Other than resting, are there any ways I can speed up / improve the healing process? The hotspots are definitely at the elbow joint – irritation just by touching the area. Or does this sound like something worse developing?
posted by querty to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like a repetitive strain injury ("tennis elbow") - BE VERY CAREFUL!!

Ice and rest.

Do NOT take pain killers; pain is the signal to stop doing what you're doing and rest. If you override this pain and keep using it, it will become something chronic, which you do not want.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:25 AM on December 3, 2013

I'm not your doctor or physical therapist, so I can't speak to worries about future risks. With strains from rock climbing, I've had good results with RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and topical arnica cream for the first few days after the injury, with acetaminophen to help reduce swelling. After the joint is no longer swollen or tender, therapy putty or a stress ball can help but take it easy! You don't want to move too quickly into the activities that injured you in the first place.
posted by a halcyon day at 6:26 AM on December 3, 2013

everything a halcyon day said; my suggestion includes the addition eccentric contractions, with the tool suggested or a towel (once i had the feel for this I could do it with a towel in a pinch). Not a therapist, just had this, and worked with a therapist in the past to help this and do it on my own now.

If it continues and RICE doesn't help, it may be more severe and require taping for some immobilization (happened to a friend - he's waiting to see if surgery will be needed).
posted by tilde at 6:42 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ice and rest. The towel exercise that tilde recommends is what a physio therapist had me do for a similar injury, but wait a few days for the pain to subside a little. I would take an anti inflammatory like ibuprofen, not necessarily for the pain relief (though that is nice too but you should rest the joint)but for it's anti inflammatory properties that will help with healing etc.
posted by wwax at 7:03 AM on December 3, 2013

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