It’s recommended you stay at or return to work as quickly as possible during your recovery. You don’t need to be pain and symptom-free to return to work.
Pain medication can help to reduce the pain and help you move more comfortably, which can help your recovery.
Speak to your community pharmacist about taking medication or other methods of pain relief. It’s important to take medication regularly.
Resting or moving?
- Within the first 24 to 48 hours after an elbow injury you should try to:
- rest your elbow but avoid long spells of not moving at all
- move your elbow gently for 10 to 20 seconds every hour when you are awake
After 48 hours:
- Try to use your arm more – exercise really helps your elbow and can relieve pain.
- Do whatever you normally would and stay at, or return to work – this is important and is the best way to get better. You may need to adapt how you do things initially.
- Avoid sports or heavy lifting until you have less discomfort and good movement.
When to speak to a health professional
- If there’s been significant trauma – for example a fall from height or direct blow to the elbow
- you can’t move your elbow at all
- Help and support
- If, after following the above advice, your elbow problem hasn’t improved within 6 weeks a self referral to TIMS may be of benefit.
- To refer yourself to TIMS you will need to have your NHS number to hand.
- For information on where to find your NHS number see NHS England – How can I find out my NHS number?