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Elbow Injuries (cont.)

Prevention

The following tips may prevent elbow problems or injuries.

General prevention tips

  • Wear your seat belt when you travel in a motor vehicle.
  • Do not use alcohol or other drugs before participating in sports or when operating a motor vehicle or other equipment.
  • Don't carry objects that are too heavy.
  • Use a step stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
  • Wear protective gear during sports or recreational activities, such as roller-skating or soccer. Supportive splints may reduce your risk for injury. Make sure your child also wears protective clothing to prevent sports injuries.
  • Stretch before and after physical exercise, sports, or recreational activities to warm up your muscles.
  • Do stretching and range-of-motion (ROM) exercises with your fingers and wrist to prevent stiffening of the tendons that affect your elbows. Gently bend, straighten, and rotate your wrist. If you have any pain, stop the exercises.
  • Use the correct techniques (movements) or positions during activities so that you do not strain your muscles.
  • Avoid overusing your arm doing repeated movements that can injure your bursa or tendons. In daily routines or hobbies, examine activities in which you make repeated arm movements.
  • Take lessons to learn the proper technique for sports. Have a trainer or person who is familiar with sports equipment check your equipment to see if it is well suited for your level of ability, body size, and body strength.
  • If you feel that activities at your workplace are causing pain or soreness from overuse, call your human resources department for information on alternative ways of doing your job or to discuss equipment modifications or other job assignments.

Reduce falls

Preventing falls will help you to avoid elbow injuries. To prevent falls:

Keep bones strong

  • Eat a nutritious diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; dark green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli; and other foods.
  • Exercise and stay active. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Begin slowly, especially if you have been inactive. For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
  • Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman. People who drink more than this have a higher risk for weakening bones (osteopenia). Alcohol use also increases your risk of injuries related to falls.
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking puts you at a much higher risk for developing osteoporosis. It also interferes with blood supply and healing. For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine in coffee and soda pop may increase calcium loss from your body and increase your risk for osteoporosis.

Possible abuse

Injuries such as bruises, burns, fractures, cuts, or punctures may be a sign of abuse. Suspect possible abuse when an injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation, repeated injuries occur, or the explanations for the cause of the injury change. You may be able to prevent further abuse by reporting it and seeking help.

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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