What is elbow arthritis?
Osteoarthritis of the elbow usually happens when the cartilage of the elbow is damaged or wears down. This can be the result of a previous injury, such as dislocating the elbow, or even a fracture. It may also result from age-related degeneration of the joint cartilage. Arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and degrades the connective tissue of joints. The elbow can be affected by different types of arthritis, like any other joint. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis; it doesn’t just affect just the elbow, but a number of joints. The causes are hard to pinpoint, but the onset is more likely if the elbow has been previously injured – for instance, a fractured joint. Rheumatoid arthritis is another form that typically affects the elbow.
The most common symptoms of elbow arthritis are:
- Elbow pain
- Loss of range of motion
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease and your prior history.
- Medication to alleviate pain
- Physical therapy
- Cooling therapy to relieve swelling
- Corticosteriod injections
- Surgery / arthroscopy
Many arthritis doctors recommend using a cooling therapy like Physicool to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness. Using Physicool twice a day for 30 minutes has helped many suffers with the pain and stiffness as the cold compression reduces swelling by constricting blood vessels whilst soothing the area.
Physicool is a reusable cotton bandage impregnated with a patented liquid which draws heat away from the affected tissues by rapid evaporation. While the deep tissues are being cooled, the simultaneous compression effects of Physicool modify the inflammatory response to soft tissue damage which helps promote healing.