How to Manage Pain from Your Elbow Injury

Oct 01, 2022

From sharp pain to muscle weakness, elbow injuries are more than just a nuisance. Your symptoms can seriously limit your arm and hand function, and you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence.

Our doctors at Cascade Orthopaedics specialize in joint care and pain management. We have experience diagnosing and treating the most common sources of elbow pain, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Fractures
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tendinitis

No matter your diagnosis, we’re here to help you find a pain management plan that works.

Effective treatments to relieve elbow pain

Your elbow injury care plan starts with a comprehensive exam. We review your symptoms and take diagnostic images, like X-rays, if needed. Once we’ve identified the cause of your pain, we start working on treatment.

Most of the time, elbow injuries respond best to a multi-faceted treatment plan. We may suggest a combination of therapies to promote healing and manage pain, including:

Rest and activity modification

Overuse is a top cause of elbow injury. If we diagnose you with an overuse injury like golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, we may prescribe a period of rest, along with ice or heat therapy.

Rest reduces inflammation, and activity modification takes unnecessary stress off your elbow while you heal. We recommend specific activity modifications for you depending on your elbow injury, your job, and your hobbies.

Bracing or splinting

Braces, splints, and other wearable medical devices provide compression and extra joint stability. Bracing or splinting your elbow after an injury can reduce pain with certain activities and lower your risk of suffering another injury.

Physical therapy

No matter what type of elbow injury you have, physical therapy can help manage your pain, reduce stiffness, and prevent future injury.

Your therapist guides you through specific arm and elbow exercises designed to build strength and restore flexibility. If you suffered a sports injury, we tailor your therapy to help you get back into the game as soon as possible.

Anti-inflammatory medication

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury, but inflammation can make your elbow stiffer and more painful. Anti-inflammatory medication helps reduce inflammation, and it makes other treatments, like physical therapy, more comfortable.

We may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or a prescription medication based on the severity of your injury.

Joint injections

If you have a chronic elbow condition or a more serious injury, we may recommend joint injections. Elbow joint injections target inflammation with corticosteroids and other pain-relieving compounds. 

They’re a nonsurgical option that offers enhanced pain relief when other treatments aren’t effective enough.


Our team takes a conservative approach to treating elbow injuries, and we recommend nonsurgical treatments whenever possible. But elbow fractures and other severe elbow injuries may necessitate surgery.

We use minimally invasive methods for elbow surgery. After your procedure, we work with you to develop a recovery plan that often includes physical therapy and other treatments listed above.

Proactive pain management speeds healing, so you can get back to your life. Learn more about elbow injuries and treatment options at Cascade Orthopaedics in Auburn and Bonney Lake, Washington. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online now.