Some types of joint pain are so common among athletes that they take on the name of the sport — think runner’s knee, turf toe, and swimmer’s shoulder. When it comes to your mid-arm hinge, two sports vie for top billing: tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.
But even if you’re not an athlete, you can easily end up with elbow joint pain due to injury or disease. If and when you do, give us a call.
There’s no one more qualified in Southern California to diagnose and treat elbow pain than NEIL GHODADRA, M.D. He’s one of the country’s leading orthopedic surgeons with extensive qualifications:
- Specializes in minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery
- Focuses on knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow surgeries
- Has authored numerous textbook chapters and journal articles
- Former team physician for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox
- Certified life care planner and an expert in the personal injury field
- Has provided over 80 depositions and expert trial testimonies
What this means for you is that your elbow is in good hands. Of course, the right treatment for your elbow pain depends entirely on the underlying cause. Here are five of the many elbow treatments Dr. Ghodadra offers.
How to treat elbow pain
You use your elbow a lot, so occasional pain is inevitable — but persistent pain is another matter. Whether you have a sports injury, a fracture, a dislocation, arthritis, or one of the many other conditions that affect your elbow joint, we’ve got a treatment for it. The following is a list of five noninvasive treatments for elbow pain.
1. Rest and activity modification
If Dr. Ghodadra prescribes rest and activity modification, here’s what it might look like:
- Stop moving your elbow and reduce activity completely for the first few days
- Move your joint gently at least once an hour
- Follow Dr. Ghodadra’s instructions about movement restrictions
- Keep your limb elevated to reduce or prevent swelling
Ice therapy is also good following an injury or arthritis flare-up. Apply a cold pack to your elbow for about 15-20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Make sure to protect your skin by wrapping ice packs in a thin towel.
2. Splinting and bracing
If you damage the ligaments in your elbow, Dr. Ghodadra may recommend a brace or splint to protect it. There are different types of braces: some fix your elbow in one position; others allow some movement. A period of immobilization may be helpful at the beginning of your treatment, but not for long. Dr. Ghodadra’s goal is to get your elbow moving again as soon as possible.
3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
You probably know these by their brand names — Advil, Motrin®, Bayer®, and Aleve®. These are just a few of the over-the-counter medications containing ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. NSAIDs relieve the pain and inflammation in your elbow when used as directed, but they’re intended for short-term, occasional use. However, NSAIDs also come in topical form, which side steps potential side effects.
4. Physical therapy
We mentioned that staying immobile isn’t wise for long, so when Dr. Ghodadra gives you the green light to move around more, it’s time to get active. But that doesn’t mean you’re free to grab your tennis racket or gold club and hit the courts or links. Your future elbow function depends on incorporating activities gradually and progressively — and that’s where physical therapy comes in.
Our experts set you up with a personalized routine that targets the muscles and tendons in your elbow, challenging them just enough to rebuild strength but remaining gentle enough to prevent further damage.
5. Regenerative medicine
If there’s one thing all our patients have in common, it’s impatience. Everyone wants to heal as quickly as possible, and we don’t blame them.
That’s why Dr. Ghodadra offers regenerative medicine treatments to accelerate healing. The most common form of regenerative medicine is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Although it sounds ultra-scientific, it’s really quite simple.
We take a sample of your blood and spin it in a high-speed centrifuge machine to isolate the platelets from the other blood components. When we inject that concentrated serum into your elbow joint, the platelets release growth hormones that repair damaged tissue. It’s an all-natural way to tap into your body’s own healing resources.
Get help for your elbow pain
If your elbow is bothering you, don’t live with the pain — contact NEIL GHODADRA, M.D., to schedule an appointment and find out which treatment is best for your type of elbow pain.