Sore Elbows After Running – A Complete Guide To Recovery & Prevention
Have you ever experienced sore elbows after a run and wondered what’s causing the discomfort? You’re not alone! In this blog post, we’ll delve into the topic of sore elbows after running, exploring the reasons behind the pain and discussing ways to treat and prevent it. So, let’s lace up our running shoes and dive right in!
Why Do My Elbows Hurt After Running?
Experiencing soreness in your elbows after a run can be frustrating and confusing. The good news is that it’s a common issue among runners and usually not a cause for major concern. The discomfort in your elbows can be attributed to various factors, including:
1. Arm Swing and Posture: The way you swing your arms while running can impact your elbows. If you have an inefficient arm swing or poor posture, excessive tension may build up in your elbows, leading to soreness.
2. Grip and Tension: Holding your hands too tightly or maintaining excessive tension in your forearms and hands can contribute to elbow discomfort. This gripping and tension can transfer stress to your elbow joints during your runs.
3. Overuse and Overtraining: Running long distances or increasing your mileage too quickly without proper rest and recovery can lead to overuse injuries, including those affecting the elbows. The repetitive motion and stress on your joints can cause inflammation and discomfort.
4. Underlying Conditions: In some cases, sore elbows after running may be due to underlying conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, or nerve impingement. If the pain persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis.
How Do You Treat Runner’s Elbow?
If you’re experiencing sore elbows after running, the good news is that there are steps you can take to alleviate the discomfort and promote healing. Here are some effective treatments for runner’s elbow:
1. Rest and Recovery: Give your elbows a break and allow them time to heal. Reduce or modify your running activities to avoid further aggravating the soreness. Resting doesn’t mean complete inactivity; you can engage in low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to maintain cardiovascular fitness.
2. Ice and Heat Therapy: Applying ice packs or cold compresses to your elbows can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. Use them for 15-20 minutes at a time. Additionally, warm compresses or heat packs can help relax the muscles and improve blood circulation in the affected area.
3. Pain Relief Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. However, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any medication regimen, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.
4. Stretching and Strengthening: Incorporate specific exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles around your elbows and forearms. These exercises can help improve flexibility, reduce tension, and provide stability to the joint. We’ll dive into some exercises later in this post!
Elbow and Arm Exercises for Runners
Now, let’s explore some effective elbow and arm exercises that can help relieve and prevent soreness after running. These exercises target the muscles in your arms and forearms, improving flexibility, strength, and stability. Remember to perform them with proper form and start with lighter resistance or repetitions, gradually progressing as your comfort level and strength increase.
Wrist Flexor Stretch: Extend your arm straight in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your opposite hand to gently pull your fingers back toward your body until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.
Wrist Extensor Stretch: Extend your arm straight in front of you with your palm facing down. Use your opposite hand to gently push your fingers downward until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.
Resistance Band Curls: Hold a resistance band with your palms facing up and your elbows slightly bent. Keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the band toward your shoulders by contracting your biceps. Slowly lower the band back to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Tricep Dips: Sit on a chair or bench with your hands gripping the edge beside your hips. Extend your legs in front of you and slide your hips off the edge, supporting your weight with your arms. Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor, then push back up to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or injuries.
Sore Elbows After Running – Final Words
Experiencing sore elbows after running can be a temporary setback, but with the right approach, you can overcome it. Focus on proper arm swing and posture, avoid excessive tension, and gradually increase your mileage and intensity to prevent overuse injuries.
If soreness persists or worsens, consult with a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and guidance. They can help determine if there are any underlying conditions contributing to the discomfort and recommend appropriate treatment options.
Incorporate the suggested treatments, including rest, ice or heat therapy, pain relief medications, and specific exercises, to alleviate soreness and promote healing. Remember that recovery takes time, so be patient and listen to your body’s signals.