Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Elbow Pain Home Care

Home care for elbow pain includes:

  • Avoid activities that cause pain.
  • Rest the arm:
    • Wear a sling
  • Cold compresses for acute injuries
    • Apply for 20 minutes at a time, 2 to 3 times per day
    • Stick with cold compresses for the first 2 days following the injury
  • Apply a warm compress:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours.
  • Apply an elastic wrap to support the elbow
  • Perform elbow stretching exercises.
  • Apply nonprescription pain rubs:
    • ArthriCare
    • Arthritis Pain Relieving Rub
    • Aspercreme
    • Ben-Gay
    • Capzasin-HP
    • Sportscreme
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

For more information:

Elbow Pain Pain in Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and inflammation in adults with elbow pain include:

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.





NSAID Precautions

Elbow Pain Pain in Children

Common medications used at home for pain in children with elbow pain include:

Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.



Elbow Pain Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have elbow pain and any of the following:

Continue to Elbow Pain Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Elbow Pain References
  1. Doornberg JN, Ring D, Fabian LM, Malhotra L, Zurakowski D, Jupiter JB. Pain dominates measurements of elbow function and health status. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Aug;87(8):1725-31. [16085611]
  2. Lewis M, Hay EM, Paterson SM, Croft P. Local steroid injections for tennis elbow: does the pain get worse before it gets better?: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Clin J Pain. 2005 Jul-Aug;21(4):330-4. [15951651]
  3. Salyapongse A, Hatch JD. Advances in the management of medial elbow pain in baseball pitchers. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2003 Oct;2(5):276-80. [12959710]
  4. Wang AA, Whitaker E, Hutchinson DT, Coleman DA. Pain levels after injection of corticosteroid to hand and elbow. Am J Orthop. 2003 Aug;32(8):383-5. [12943338]
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