Why does my elbow hurt when I extend it at work?

You reach out to grab the doorknob of your office door. Ouch! That hurt your elbow. Your phone rings, and you reach out to answer it. Pain goes zinging through your elbow again. These are just some of the scenarios in which your elbow might hurt when you extend it at work. 

How likely is it that this could happen to you? It could be much more likely than you might think. One medical study found that nearly 11% of the workers it surveyed had elbow pain. So, why does your elbow hurt when you extend it at work? A physical therapist can help you answer that question.

Two reasons why your elbow hurts when you extend it at work

  1. Your work is aggravating a preexisting injury — Physical therapists can do a lot to help you when you’ve been injured at work. Especially if your injury is why your elbow hurts when you extend it at work. They can even help you if you have a preexisting elbow injury that’s being irritated by movements your work requires. For instance, your physical therapist may help you modify your work activities in ways that help cut elbow pain. 
  1. You’re doing this movement too much — While your elbow is made to bend and flex, that doesn’t mean that doing these movements too often can’t lead to elbow pain. Work tasks can put a lot of strain on your elbows. Elbows that deal with this strain for hours at a time are more likely to become painful. One medical study reports that hard physical work that involves repeated elbow flexion and extension is more likely to cause elbow pain when performed for more than two hours per day. 

How can a physical therapist help when your elbow hurts when you extend it at work?

Aside from helping you determine why your elbow hurts when you extend it at work, there are other ways physical therapists can help you. The most important way they can help is by creating a customized treatment plan for you. Such a plan may include PT techniques like: 

  • Therapeutic exercises designed to stretch and strengthen the arm muscles that support and move your elbows. 
  • Soft tissue mobilization where physical therapists use their hands to ease stiffness and pain in injured elbow joint soft tissue. 
  • Ergonomic recommendations that can help reduce the strain that work tasks place on your elbows. 

Back in Motion can help treat your work-related elbow pain

Do you have an elbow that hurts when you extend it at work? You can find help for your painful elbow at Back in Motion Physical Therapy. Our physical therapists offer free screenings that can uncover the precise cause of your pain. They also excel at building treatment plans that are unique to each patient, which means your plan is more likely to help: 

  • Reduce pain. 
  • Ease joint stiffness. 
  • Improve joint function and flexibility. 
  • Decrease your risk of future elbow issues. 

Contact us today for more information about our elbow pain treatment services for workers or to schedule an initial appointment for your work injury. 

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