If you're a construction worker who experiences osteoarthritis pain in your elbows, take action to relieve it now. Elbow osteoarthritis is a joint disorder that damages the soft tissues found between the bones of the elbow and forearm. It develops from actions that require you to repeatedly bend, lift or place stress on your forearms and elbows, such as carrying large loads or using heavy tools and machinery. If your osteoarthritis becomes worse, it eventually keeps you from performing the duties at your job. But with the right at home tips, you can ease your elbow arthritis pain.
Why Do You Have Elbow Pain?
Two of the main problems associated with osteoarthritis of the elbows are inflammation and swelling between the bones and joints. These symptoms develop when the soft, rubbery tissue called cartilage becomes too thin to cushion the area between each bone and joint in your elbows.
Lifting or handling large and heavy objects too much or too often places stress on your elbows, which causes the cartilage to wear down over time. Because you don't have enough cartilage between them, the ends of your joints and bones make strange noises as they rub together.
For instance, you may hear popping, grating or rubbing noises in your elbows as you bend and flex your forearms. Eventually fluid builds up between your elbow joints, which causes the pain you feel and swelling you see in your arms. You may also have problems moving your arms when these symptoms occur.
How Can You Ease Your Elbow Pain?
To reduce your symptoms and lubricate your elbow joints, gently stretch your arms right before bedtime. But avoid overstretching your arms, or you aggravate your elbow joints.
Here's what you do:
- Place your arms out to your sides with the palms of your hands facing up. Leave 1-2 inches of space between your body and arms to avoid hitting or rubbing your sore elbows on your body.
- Straighten your back, tighten your abdominal muscles, relax your shoulders, and raise your chin slightly. You want these areas to be perfectly aligned during the exercises to prevent stress on your upper body.
- Bend your knees slightly to avoid placing stress in your lower body.
- Start with your right arm. Inhale deeply as you slowly raise your forearm as high and comfortably as you can.
- Hold the position for 1 second, then exhale and lower your forearm.
- Repeat steps 2-5 with your left arm.
- Alternate each arm for 2 minutes or 10 times each.
After you complete your exercises, apply warm coconut oil to your arms to increase circulation in your skin. Good blood circulation helps reduce pain and inflammation in your elbows.
Give the oil 10 minutes to soak into your skin, then place your arms on two fluffy pillows while you sleep. Raising your arms on pillows helps the fluids between your elbow joints drain properly. You can perform all of the steps and tips above every night for the best results.
If you still have arthritic elbow pain, consult with a rheumatology physician, such as Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of South Jersey, for additional treatment and assistance.