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Elbow injection is a procedure used to treat various conditions that cause significant pain and inflammation within the elbow joint. Physiotherapy after elbow injection is necessary to help ensure the return of full and painless function within the elbow joint.

Elbow injection involves injecting part of the elbow joint with a combination of corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) and analgesic (pain killer). An elbow injection provides substantial relief of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, stiffness and reduced range of movement within the elbow joint. Elbow injection is recommended when conventional treatments such as painkillers, anti-inflammatory’s, rest from aggravating activities and physiotherapy has failed to fully eliminate the symptoms. Elbow injection is effective in conditions such as:
  • Arthritis of the elbow joint
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow)
  • Olecranon bursitis

Arthritis of the Elbow Joint
One of major indications for elbow joint injection is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Elbow injection can provide relief from swelling, pain and reduce range of movement associated with various forms of arthritis of the elbow joint.

Lateral (Tennis Elbow) & Medial (Golfers Elbow) Epicondylitis
Elbow epicondylitis is a condition caused by inflammation and damage to the medial (inside) or lateral (outside) of the elbow that is a result of overuse or repetitive strain injuries. The indication for injection therapy for epicondylitis is usually chronic pain, inflammation and reduced function within the elbow joint that has not been affected by more conservative means such as medication, rest and physiotherapy.


Olecranon Bursitis
Another indication for elbow injection therapy is to treat symptoms associated with olecranon bursitis. The olecranon bursa lies on the olecranon process located at the head of the ulna (larger bone of the forearm, on the opposite side of the thumb). The bursa is a pad that prevents friction between the bone and surrounding soft tissues. Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa that causes pain, swelling and reduced function within the elbow joint and is aggravated by bending the elbow.


Procedure of Elbow Injection Therapy



After the skin has been cleaned the injection itself is felt as the sharp scratch of the needle followed by an intense hot or burning sensation which lasts only a few seconds. The injection takes only a few seconds to perform. Sometimes the pain, for which the injection was given, gets worse that night and we would suggest you take simple painkillers e.g. paracetamol, before going to bed. Occasionally the injection takes several days to take effect and the good effects may last from between a few hours to several months. A small sticking plaster will be applied afterwards and can be taken off the next day. Your doctor will tell you whether you need to restrict any activity after the injection. You will be able to drive after the injection.You would not usually have more than 3 or 4 injections into one area.


Physiotherapy after Elbow Injection Therapy



Physiotherapy after you have received elbow injection therapy is essential to help regain full and painless function in your elbow. Physiotherapy with Physio.co.uk will help restore muscle strength and range of movement in your elbow. A full rehabilitation programme with Physio.co.uk will guarantee the return of full or near to full, function in your elbow joint and help prevent the reoccurrence of symptoms associated with your initial problem prior to receiving elbow injection therapy. Physio.co.uk will provide you with a comprehensive rehabilitation programme that focuses on treatment goals that are personal to you. Treatment goals after elbow injection therapy will include the following:
  • To restore a pain-free elbow joint
  • To eliminate inflammation / swelling
  • To restore full range of motion (ROM)
  • To restore full muscle strength and length
  • To improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance
  • To return you to activities such as job, hobbies and sport
  • To promote recovery and quality of life

Physiotherapy programme / activities:



Early stages
During the early stages of rehabilitation you will need to rest from any activities that may have aggravated your problem / condition initially. At this stage, your physiotherapy programme will concentrate on controlling pain and swelling that you will be experiencing although the injection is likely to have eliminated this. Your physiotherapy will aim to gradually introduce gentle activities to improve range of movement and function in your elbow joint. Your physiotherapy will include:
  • Rest from aggravating activities
  • Cryotherapy (Ice)
  • Elevation and compression
  • Pain modalities
  • Passive (assisted) range of movement exercises
  • Passive stretching and flexibility exercises
  • Strengthening exercises for muscles around wrist, forearm and shoulder of affected arm
  • Strengthening exercises for opposite, unaffected arm
Later stages
After undergoing a number of weeks of successful physiotherapy post elbow injection therapy, your physiotherapy will continue to focus on preventing the onset of symptoms caused by your initial condition. At this stage, your physiotherapy programme with Physio.co.uk will focus on activities to strengthen the muscles around your elbow joint as well as improve function and range of movement within your elbow joint as much as possible. Your physiotherapy will include:
  • Rest from aggravating activities
  • Cryotherapy (Ice)
  • Elevation and compression
  • Pain modalities
  • Active and passive range of movement exercises
  • Active and passive stretching and flexibility
  • Strengthening exercises for affected elbow joint
  • Strengthening exercises for wrist, shoulder and unaffected arm
  • Arm cycle and activities to improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Functional activities specific to job, hobby or sport
Elbow injection therapy is only a short term treatment to alleviate symptoms caused by a variety of conditions affecting your elbow joint. Success and rate of recovery depends on your commitment and adherence to the comprehensive physiotherapy programme provided by Physio.co.uk as well as the initial condition of your elbow prior to your elbow injection therapy.


Summary



Elbow injection is a procedure used to treat various conditions that cause significant pain and inflammation within the elbow joint.Injections containing a mixture of local anaesthetic and cortisone (locally acting steroid) are frequently used to treat the symptoms associated with conditions such as arthritis of the elbow, tennis elbow, golfers elbow and other inflammatory problems within the elbow such as olecranon bursitis. Elbow injection therapy involves injecting part of the elbow joint to alleviate of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, stiffness and reduced range of movement within the elbow joint. Physiotherapy after elbow joint therapy is essential to maximise the success of the injection, prevent the likelihood of symptoms persisting and to help the patient achieve the return of full or near to function in the elbow joint. Physio.co.uk provides a comprehensive rehabilitation programme that will accelerate your recovery and get you back to your job, hobby or sport as quickly as possible. Call Physio.co.uk now on 0330 088 7800 for more information or to book an appointment please contact us.


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Phone: 0330 088 7800
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