Mississauga Chiropractor Presents: Elebow Sprain

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Lecture Series

Here’s another blog from a Mississauga Chiropractor…


An elbow sprain is soft tissue damage of the ligaments surrounding the elbow joint.  The medial (ulnar) collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament that is most often sprained.


Sprain/Strain Grading Table:


Clinical Findings

Healing Time


Simple/Mild Sprain:    Minimal Disruption of adjacent fibres

  •   1%-10% fibres damage
  •   Minimal pain; minimal tenderness and swelling
  •   Trigger points (upper forearm flexors);   painful end ROM

7 days to 4 weeks


Moderate Sprain:    Partial tearing of the ligaments or muscle

  •   11%-50% fibres damage
  •   Athletic injury, lifting, trauma, marked pain   & splinting
  •   Mild to moderate edema; bruising is uncommon

2 weeks to 6 months


Severe Sprain:    Possible complete tear, refer for consult

  •   51%-100% fibre damage
  •   Bruising; moderate to severe edema
  •   Marked dysfunction; antalgia & guarded   movement
  •   Palpate torn muscle; muscle flaccidity; marked   edema
  •   Elbow pain with gripping & wrist motion

2 months to >1   year



a)      Fall on outstretched arm, hyperextension

b)      Single traumatic event; repetitive trauma

c)      Common flexor tendon strain often accompanies MCL sprain



a)      Elbow joint pain with motion

b)      May have heard a snapping or popping sound

c)      May be holding forearm 90 degrees flexed

d)      Ulnar collateral ligament is tender with palpation

e)      Decreased range of motion & stiffness



a)      Pain Control

  1. PRICE (protect, rest, ice, compression & elevation)
  2. Electrotherapy: TENS, IFC
  3. Mild soft tissue therapy/massage


b)      Early Rehab (3+ days post injury)

  1. Pain free active range of motion exercises; pain free isometrics
  2. Wrist and hand exercises


c)      Late Rehab (10+ days)

  1. Mobilization to elbow, forearm and spine
  2. Stabilization exercises – start with wrist flexion/extension & ulnar deviation;  then pronation & Supination; lastly, elbow flexion and extension

Leave a Reply