How Do You Treat a Sore Elbow?


Depending on the cause of elbow pain, treatment usually involves the application of ice packs, braces, getting adequate rest and taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen, notes WebMD. Local cortisone injections or surgery may also be required. Some infectious elbow conditions, such as cellulitis and septic arthritis, must be treated with antibiotics.

According to WebMD, tennis elbow is a common cause of elbow pain and is caused by repetitive movements of the elbow joint through activities such as sports, fitness and manual labor. If the area is used too much, the tendons in the joint become inflamed, causing pain that is sometimes accompanied by visible swelling and warmth in the elbow joint. Tennis elbow does not typically create problems with a person's range of motion in the arm. Arthritis is another common elbow affliction that is characterized by consistent swelling, heat and pain. Unlike tennis elbow, arthritis results in limited range of motion in the joint.

WebMD explains that when the elbow joint is injured from a puncture wound or surface abrasion, bacteria may enter the site of the wound and cause a painful infection. This is the case with cellulitis and septic arthritis, which can also be accompanied by low-grade fevers. Septic arthritis is especially common among diabetic and intravenous drug users.