Physical & Occupational Therapy for Elbow Sprains & Strains

After initial treatment with rest, ice, or compression for an elbow sprain or strain, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend physical and occupational therapy. This can help you build strength and flexibility in the affected elbow.

Physical and occupational therapists at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation develop a plan to restore function in the injured elbow, allowing you to return to work, sports, and everyday activities. They use the newest and most advanced physical therapy equipment, which is available at NYU Langone’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care.

Your doctor and therapists might suggest combining physical and occupational therapy with therapeutic injections to help your elbow heal.

Therapeutic Exercises

After swelling and pain in the elbow have subsided, doctors may recommend physical therapy to rebuild strength and flexibility in the muscles that support the elbow and restore full range of motion to the joint. This therapy typically begins two or three weeks after an injury occurs and continues for six to eight weeks.

Physical therapists and occupational therapists, including certified hand therapists, at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation may recommend simple exercises. These can be performed at home to reduce pain, improve mobility, and restore function to the area after a strain or sprain. For instance, stretching the wrist or squeezing a tennis ball in the hand can help build strength in the muscles of the forearm.

As the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of your elbow grow stronger, your care team guides you in returning to more vigorous activity, such as playing tennis. Our therapists can show you ways to participate in sports or daily activities that help prevent future elbow injuries.

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