Dealing with an elbow sprain depends in large part on the severity of the sprain as well as the treatment options the doctor may have already suggested. If the elbow sprain falls under the heading of a grade one, then the odds are good that the while the joint is uncomfortable and most likely also somewhat swollen, it is not so severe that it precludes use of the extremity. The patient is still able to continue using the arm, and the elbow sprain may just be treated with a precautionary sling, some ice packs, and maybe also with the help of anti-inflammatory substances and painkillers.
An elbow sprain that falls under the heading of grade two usually is more severe, but may still not require a more involved approach by the doctor. Ligaments are somewhat torn, and there is going to be some bruising, swelling and overall tenderness in the area. It is unlikely that the sufferer with the elbow sprain is going to be able to use the arm as normal. Ice packs, rest, anti-inflammatory medications, pain killers, and also a watchful eye for further complications need to be trained on this area of the body. There is a good chance that the doctor will order x-rays to ensure that no fracture is present.
A third grade elbow sprain is perhaps the worst case scenario. It denotes a ligament that is completely severed, and the pain to the arm is so severe that it is impossible for the patient to continue work or everyday activities without medical intervention. Bruising is extreme, and swelling is also going to be rather pronounced. In addition to the foregoing, the elbow will be highly sensitive to even the tenderest of touches. Medical intervention is a must, and in some cases surgery is the only way to repair the elbow sprain. This is left to the findings of the doctor who must evaluated x-rays, MRI readings, and other test results to ascertain the best course of action.
Until an elbow sprain has been positively identified, it is a good idea to keep the area as immobile as possible, cool it with an ice pack, and also administer pain killers as well as anti-inflammatory medication. This gives the body a good chance to start its healing process. Once a doctor has evaluated the medical results and also the body’s response to the initial steps taken to counteract the effects of the elbow sprain, it is time to decide on further medical intervention.