Certain arm injuries are more likely to happen when we overwork ourselves. Whether it happens in the gym, while playing sports, or simply during an activity in our daily grind, we don’t always pay the most attention to our body and how much we may be pushing it. The most frequent kinds of arm injuries that happen are sprains or pulled muscles, and one way that this can happen is by hyperextension. Should you hyperextend an elbow, you’ve likely pushed or bent the elbow joint beyond its normal range of motion. If you have this happen, you will likely feel an immediate shooting pain and maybe hear or feel a popping. Once it’s hyperextended, the joint will likely become swollen and you’ll experience a lack of elbow joint mobility over several weeks. Medical assistance should be sought out if you experience a severe or painful hyperextended elbow, but here are some things you can do immediately and what you might consider to help your elbow recover.
Start with RICE
The first thing that any doctor or physical therapist will instruct you to do with a hyperextension is to follow the RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. All of these actions combine to ensure that no further harm occurs in the short time period after the initial injury, while also helping to limit pain and inflammation in the elbow joint.
Use a brace or splint
If you’re waiting to see a medical professional, but want to limit the likelihood of moving your elbow, you can use a brace or splint to support your arm. This will help limit movement and allow for more focus on healing. However, this is usually not done for long after, since inactivity of your arm could lead to loss of strength.
Consider physical therapy
For more serious cases of hyperextension, you may be recommended to see a physical therapist for a treatment program. This form of treatment will reintroduce movement and strengthening exercises unique to your injury and movement ability.