What is Elbow Hyperextension?
When the elbow joint is forced to reach further than its usual range of motion, this is an injury known as elbow hyperextension, and the damage to the elbow depends on the severity of the action. Some cases only damage the elbow’s bones and ligaments, while more severe cases lead to elbow dislocation.
Elbow hyperextension is most commonly seen in athletes of intense contact sports, including boxing, judo, and football. Weight lifters and gymnasts are also susceptible to elbow hyperextension.
Elbow Hyperextension Symptoms
Elbow hyperextension can be difficult to miss, as the symptoms are immediate and obvious. These include:
– A sudden, sharp popping sensation as soon as the elbow hyperextension occurs
– Intense and immediate pain
– Afterwards, a continued dull ache around the elbow upon movement
– Muscle spasms in the arm
– Loss of strength and control in the elbow and arm
– Swelling and pain around the elbow
– In severe cases, elbow deformity and blood circulation issues
Elbow Hyperextension Causes
The elbow is a combination of three joints, one of which is the humeroulnar joint. This joint is responsible for extending and flexing the arm, and also connects the upper arm and the forearm together.
Elbow hyperextension occurs when the humeroulnar joint is forced to bend back beyond its usual limit. This is generally as a result of immense and sudden force applied to the arm in an awkward manner, such as getting hit while playing sports. Falling and car accidents can also lead to elbow hyperextension.
How is Elbow Hyperextension treated?
Immediate pain relief treatments include a cold compress and anti-inflammatory medication. For long-term relief, elbow hyperextension can be treated with:
– Elbow brace
– Physical therapy
Physical therapy for elbow hyperextension should only be done after a person can move their elbow without feeling immediate pain. The goal is to begin with simple exercises and stretches that slowly increase in intensity to rebuild strength and range of motion in the elbow.