Elbow hyperextension injury happens when the elbow is bent beyond the normal range of movement and damages the bones, ligaments and other structures of the elbow. Injuries can be caused by performing strenuous exercises such as playing sports and falling with outstretched arm.
Symptoms of elbow hyperextension
- Swelling of the affected area
- Pain in the anterior area of the elbow
- Severe pain when extending the arm
- Numbness of the affected area
- The biceps contracts and there is pain and difficulty to straighten the arm.
- Pain when touching the elbow
- Stiffness of the elbow and arm
- Loss of strength of the elbow and arm
- Muscle spasms in the biceps when straightening the arm
- The affected area is red and blotchy
- Deformity of the elbow
- Problems with blood circulation in the elbow and hand
- Take plenty of rest. Avoid activities such as extending and flexing the elbows for fast healing of the condition. Avoid drinking alcohol to prevent swelling and delays the healing.
- Icing the affected area to relieve of the swelling and the pain. Put few ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap it in a towel before placing to the area for at least 10-20 minutes at a time every hour after the injury. Another alternative is using an ice pack is also good for the condition.
- Compress the area using an ACE elastic bandage, wrapped around the injured elbow to prevent unnecessary movements and for fast healing. It also stops and relieve of the swelling and pain. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulation. If the area under the wrap causes pain and numbness loosen the wrap.
- Elbow brace to immobilize the elbow and prevent unnecessary movements and for proper healing of the affected area.
- Pain medications to relieve of the pain and the swelling.
- Elevate the elbow above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling. While lying down, place the elbow in couple of pillows to keep it in a higher position. When sitting down put the elbow in a sling.
- When pain starts to subside and capable of moving the elbow, perform gentle rehabilitation exercises with the help of the physical therapist for fast healing, lessen the pain and restore range of movement of the affected elbow.
- Maintain proper form when playing contact sports or performing strenuous physical activities with the help of a qualified coach or instructor.
- Do not use heat for at least 3 days such as hot baths, saunas and hot pads while in the healing stage.
- Avoid drinking alcohol prevent the risk of bleeding and worsen the condition and delays the healing.
- Avoid massage for 3 days to prevent further irritations.
Disclaimer / More Information
The material posted on this page on elbow hyperextension injury is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications and how it is managed by taking a first aid and CPR class with one of our training providers.