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How to Heal from an Elbow Injury

How to heal from an elbow injuryThese exercise videos are for rehabilitating a general elbow injury. Every elbow injury is very different in how it needs to be treated so please consult your doctor or physiotherapist about the details of your injury.

The following exercises should be combined with physiotherapy treatment which may consist of; laser therapy, ultrasound therapy, acupuncture, IFC therapy and/or manual manipulation by your physiotherapist.

Let’s Talk about the phases of an injury. Typically, we describe the stages of healing for an injury with the terms; acute, sub-acute and chronic. Acute means that it is a brand-new injury and is in the beginning stages of rehabilitation so passive and gentle movements are recommended. Sub-acute means that your injury is more stable. The exercises for this phase are based around building strength and improving range of motion to original function.  Finally, chronic is the prolonged maintenance of your injury continuing to build strength and range of motion protecting you from re-injury.

Acute – Phase 1

These exercises are to be completed 3 times per day everyday as tolerated for the best results. If a specific exercise causes pain or discomfort, do not continue it. It may take 2 weeks or more to progress to the sub-acute phase depending on the severity of your injury. Once you can complete these exercises without pain for 2 weeks, it may be time to move onto the next phase. It is important to get a check up with your physiotherapist to ensure that it is in fact the correct time to move onto more strenuous exercises.

Sub-Acute – Phase 2

These exercises are to be completed 3 times per day everyday as tolerated for the best results. If a specific exercise causes pain or discomfort, do not continue it. You may find yourself spending the most time in this phase before progressing to the chronic exercises depending on the severity of your injury. Once you can complete these exercises without pain for 2 weeks, it may be time to move onto the next phase. It is important to get a check up with your physiotherapist to ensure that it is in fact the correct time to move onto more strenuous exercises.

Chronic – Phase 3

These exercises are to be completed 3 times per day everyday as tolerated for the best results. If a specific exercise causes pain or discomfort, do not continue it. These are the exercises that are going to help you maintain the strength that you have built. By continuing these exercises long term and keeping the muscles around your injury strong, your will decrease your risks of getting injured again. It is important to get a check up with your physiotherapist to ensure that you have healed properly and to see what other preventative measures may be available.

It is important to understand that not all injuries are the same. This means that there may be certain exercises that are better or less suited to your specific injury. It is always vital that your consult your doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor before beginning an exercise program for your injury.

Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP

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