AfterOurs Clinics - Colorado
AfterOurs Clinics - Colorado

Elbow Strains and Sprains

Elbow Strains and Sprains
A strain occurs when muscles are stretched over normal limits and become injured. The tendon is the affected part of the muscle during strain. On the other hand, a sprain occurs when ligaments are stretched beyond normal limits and become torn.

The signs and symptoms of an elbow sprain can begin at the time of the injury or may develop shortly after. If you are experiencing these symptoms, consultation with a medical provider may be necessary in order to achieve an optimal outcome.


Elbow strain, also known as a pulled muscle, typically results from overextension at the elbow joint, which may tear tendons of the muscles and ligaments at the elbow joint.
Direct blow to the elbow, repetitive stress such as in sports, and heavy lifting can cause overstretching at the elbow joint. Any of these injuries can lead to elbow sprain or strain.


There are different causes of elbow strains and sprains, such as:

  • Falling on the ground with outstretched arms
  • A direct blow to the elbow
  • Weightlifting
  • Sudden twisting at the elbow joint
  • Sports such as tennis and golf


Treatment of elbow strains and sprains includes both non-surgical and surgical treatment.

Non-surgical treatment focuses on conservative therapeutic measures. The most important medications are over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These help to reduce inflammation and pain due to injury.
Conservative treatment also includes:

  • Rest to allow healing by restricting the movement at the elbow joint
  • Icing the affected region every 20 minutes helps reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Compression bandages provide proper alignment to the torn parts to heal accordingly
  • Elevating the elbow to reduce swelling and pain.

In the case of a significant tear to your elbow ligaments due to strain, direct injury, or overuse, reconstructive surgery may be necessary to avoid permanent disability. Surgery is recommended only when the sprain is severe. Facial abrasions and considered more serious as these have a higher risk of cicatrization and should be cleaned,debrided, and dressed daily. Dressings may require skin adhesives like the combination of gum mastic, styrax,alcohol, and methyl salicylate or tincture of benzoin.

Contact us

In case of urgent medical care assistance, AfterOurs Urgent Care offers immediate telemedicine services, where medical providers are available to offer assistance. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms requiring urgent medical attention can simply book their appointment with AfterOurs Urgent Care to directly talk to an expert. If your medical issue is not appropriate for telemedicine, we will let you know and refer you to an in-person facility.

When to visit a doctor:
If you are feeling severe pain in your elbow after injury or are unable to move your elbow, you should see a medical provider in order to avoid possible serious complications.

Treatment for elbow strains and sprains is available at AfterOurs Urgent Care.