Hyperextended elbow is not unlikely to happen in contact sports because the elbows, being part of two whole appendages, are moved frequently when performing either defensive or offensive movements. People who engage in contact sports like football make a lot of movements with their elbows and this also puts them at greater risk of suffering from a hyperextended elbow.
In contact sports where everything is done in a fast pace, there is a tendency for any player to make abrupt movements with the arm. Consequently, when the arm is extended abruptly and with great force, the elbow may also be pulled beyond its normal range of capacity thus causing a hyperextended elbow.
A hyperextended elbow is an all too common injury in sports. There are a lot of doctors in sports medicine who are skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of a hyperextended elbow because of the frequency of cases that are produced in a single time. Cases of patients suffering from hyperextended elbows are not only isolated in the field of sports. Anyone can suffer from this injury in any event that causes great trauma to the elbow. Here are some more information that you need to know about a hyperextended elbow and more on other injuries related to the elbows.
Causes and Treatment for a Hyperextended Elbow and Other Elbow-Related Injuries
General facts about a hyperextended elbow
It is a well-known fact that your elbow was designed to perform movements only to a certain range of capability. You can make a lot of movements with your forearm with the help of your elbow but you cannot bend it backwards or stretch it out further than it normally can.
Any extreme movement using the elbow will cause trauma and a hyperextended elbow. It is an injury that results from pushing the elbow to perform a movement that it was not built to make. As a result of the hyperextension, one will feel extreme pain and stiffness in the elbow joint. This makes the person temporarily incapable of performing full movements with the elbow. Nevertheless, depending on the severity of the hyperextension that occurred, a hyperextended elbow can be treated using very simple methods.
The elbow is comprised of three bones: the humerus, radius, and ulna. The humerus is the bone that connects to the upper arm while the two others are those that connect to the forearm. The prominent area that is located underneath your elbow is called the olecranon. Whenever the arm is extended abruptly and extremely beyond its capacity, the band of tissues, known as ligaments that surround all these bones, begin to tear. These ligaments are crucial in forming a joint because it connects all these bones together. The ligaments are damaged in a hyperextended elbow thus the ability of the joint to perform full natural movements becomes limited.
Other problems associated with the elbow
A pinched nerve elbow, also called the cubital tunnel syndrome, is another injury associated with the elbow joint. It occurs when there the nerves that pass through a nerve tunnel become compressed or irritated due to overuse of the joints. It is best to avoid the elbow from constantly being in a bended position so that the nerves can flow freely. The pinched nerve elbow is similar to the carpal tunnel syndrome, another injury that occurs due to compression of nerves only that it occurs within the wrists.
The golfers elbow, otherwise known as medial epicondylitis, is another injury occurring in the elbows. While the hyperextended elbow involves damage in the ligaments, the golfers elbow on the other hand involves damage in the tendons. The tendons are the band of fibrous tissues that connects the bones to muscles. The condition was given such name because the injury is likely seen among golfers when they perform swinging movements with the arm. Tendons are twisted and strained in golf swings that are why injuries like this happen.
Lastly, another well-known injury in the elbow is lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow injury. It’s similar to the golfers elbow injury only that the tendons attach to the outer prominent bone of the elbow, whereas in the golfers elbow injury, the tendons attach to the inner prominent bone of the elbow. Both injuries are types of inflammation in the joints.
Treatment for hyperextended elbow and other elbow problems
A hyperextended elbow, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, and pinched nerve elbow can all be treated using simple methods. The initial form of treatment is the use of ice packs to relieve the inflammation. This can also be used as a golfers elbow treatment, so that inflammation is prevented from recurring.
Ina hyperextended elbow, temporary immobilization is needed for the affected elbow so that it can recover right away. Over the counter medications can also be used to reduce the pain involved with these injuries. The types of medication that can be used are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or painkillers.
If it so happens that the injury is too severe and the pain associated with it cannot be relieved using these medications, injectable steroids are used to provide healing for the nerves and tissues that were affected. Surgical release is also a treatment option, like tennis elbow surgery, wherein overall orthopedic repair is done to the damaged tendons.
Temporarily relieving the pain associated with a hyperextended elbow and other elbow injuries is not enough until the root source of the injury has been fully repaired. After relieving pain, therapy is needed for hyperextended elbow and the rest of other elbow injuries. Therapy is the latter stage of treatment, which is done to reach the elbows full recovery. The physical therapist will also advise the patient to perform various exercises that will allow your elbow to recover and regain its normal strength faster. Exercises for hyperextended elbow and other elbow injuries should not be strenuous but rather it should be relaxing and minimal.
A hyperextended elbow can heal after a few weeks to a whole month, if proper course of treatment is followed. It should be consulted with a doctor right away for hyperextended elbow and any other elbow injury to be given proper treatment of hyperextended elbow.
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