How to treat elbow pain from weightlifting

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Elbow pain from weightlifting is usually caused improper techniques when lifting weights which causes overloading on the muscles and tendons in the elbow. It can also result to tenderness and pain on the joint and along the interior of the forearm. This condition usually causes weakness of the hand and wrist, tingling or numbness sensation, stiffness and immobility of the affected elbow.

Elbow injuries due to weightlifting include medial epicondylitis. This injury affects the flexor tendons that are connected at the medial epicondyle which is a small bony bump on the inside of the elbow. When it comes to lateral epicondylitis, it affects the extensor tendon that connects at the lateral epicondyle or small bony bump on the outside of the elbow and the forearm.

Elbow pain
Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid lifting using the arms while there is still pain to prevent making the condition worse.


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected elbow. Avoid lifting using the arms while there is still pain to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Apply heat to the affected area for increased flow of blood in the area. Heat allows smooth range of motion with reduced pain. Apply heat on the area for at least 15 minutes. Use a heat pack and wrap with a towel to insulate the heat pack. Massage the area after removing the pack. Massage breaks up any adhesions, scar tissue and lessen the spasms of muscles.
  • Massage the affected elbow at least 5-10 minutes at 3 times every day.
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected elbow at least 15-20 minutes at a time for 4 times every day to lessen the inflammation of the damaged tissue and pain. It also numbs the affected area temporarily.
  • Compress the affected elbow using an elastic bandage to lessen the pain and inflammation of the damaged tissue. Continue with the compression wrap even if the pain is already lessened, especially prior to lifting. Elastic bandages reduce load on the elbow and lessen stress of the muscle, joints and tendons. Another alternative is using a forearm strap which also lessens the load from lifting and good for the condition.
  • Perform gentle stretches to lessen the spasms of muscles, risk for injuries and stimulate the nerves.
  • Move the elbow with its normal range of motion such as bicep curls and then relax the arm. This curl stimulates the muscles and nerves while lubricating the joints and lessens the pain.


The material posted on this page for elbow pain is for learning purposes only. If you want to learn to manage joint and ligament injuries including elbow pain from weight lifting, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.

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