Hyperextended elbow

Hyperextended elbow

Fact Checked

Hyperextended elbow happens when the elbow joint moves outside the normal range of movement or bends backward and cause severe pain.

Anyone can be affected by this condition, but it is usually common in people playing contact sports or performing strenuous physical activities.

Symptoms of a hyperextended elbow

  • Severe elbow pain with stiffness and swelling
  • Popping sound can be heard after the injury
  • Limited movement of the area
  • Spasms of the muscle
  • Loss of strength in the arm
  • Deformity of the elbow
    Hyperextended elbow
    Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 20 minutes at a time immediately after the injury to lessen the swelling and the pain.
  • Reduced blood circulation in the affected hand and arm.


  • Playing contact sports that includes football and boxing.
  • Bracing the body against an impact of a fall
  • performing gymnastics and weightlifting

Risk factors

  • Weakening of the bone and ligaments due to aging of a person.
  • History of the injury in the fast makes the elbow become weaker and high risk of developing this condition.
  • performing vigorous activities


  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected area for fast healing of the area. Avoid performing activities such as extending and flexing of the elbow to prevent further irritation.
  • Apply an ice pack on the area for at least 20 minutes at a time immediately after the injury to lessen the swelling and the pain.
  • Compress the area using an elastic bandage wrapped around the area to lessen unnecessary movements and lessen the inflammation. Avoid wrapping it too tight to prevent problems with circulations. If the area under wrap turns violet or blue loosen the wrap.
  • Elevate the affected elbow higher than the level of the heart for proper flow of blood in the area and lessen the swelling. Raise the site on a couple of pillows to keep it in a high position while lying or sitting down.
  • Wear a sling to support the affected elbow and lessen the pain when moving around.
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to lessen the pain and the swelling.
  • Prescribed elbow brace to prevent unnecessary movement of the joint of the elbow and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Rehabilitation exercises for the elbow with the help of the physical therapist to strengthen and flexibility of the elbow and restore range of movement of the elbow.


  • Avoid heat for at least 3 days such as hot baths, saunas or applying hot pads while in the healing stage.
  • Do not drink alcohol to prevent severe bleeding and worsen the swelling.
  • Avoid massage on the area while in the healing stage.
  • Maintain proper form and techniques in performing exercises to lessen the risk of injuries.
  • Wear supportive sleeve or a brace while working out.
  • Avoid repetitive hyperextension injuries to prevent deformities in the joint and the bones.

More Information

The details posted on this page on a hyperextended elbow is for learning purposes only. To learn to properly manage this condition, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.





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