Exercises After Elbow Fracture For Speedy Recovery

by | Dec 15, 2023

Although our elbow is the biggest joint in our body, we never feel its importance until it stops functioning. As soon as it experiences an injury, we realize small tasks like closing a door, carrying a handbag, and even eating become a sport. Thankfully, a stiff and non-functioning elbow can be recovered with exercises.

Broken Elbow Recovery Time

The recovery duration of a fractured bone relies on numerous other factors like age, pre-existing diseases, body fitness, and lifestyle. However, the right exercises can speed up the process. To resume your physical exercises or sports, like swimming and tennis, you should wait at least 3-6 weeks. Some individuals can return to their routine activities in 4 months, but it can take 12 months or longer to completely recover.

Range of Motion Exercises for Fractured Elbow

There are plenty of motion exercises you can try with a broken elbow. Begin with the light ones and immediately stop if you feel discomfort or pain.

  1. Elbow Bend
    As the name suggests, you can stand straight with your arms hanging down. Slowly and gently bend your arm upward till it reaches your shoulder. You can maintain this posture for fifteen to thirty seconds, 10 times per session.
  2. Wrist Turn
    Extend your arm and bend your elbow at an appropriate angle without applying any pressure. Keep your hand up with the wrist side facing up. Keep this pose for 5 seconds before letting go. You can continue the cycle 30 times for better results.
  3. Passive Flexion
    Fold a napkin or towel a few times to get a cushion effect. Rest your elbow on it and bend your arm with a light pressure of your hand. Keep bending till it touches your shoulder. Your wrist should be straight throughout. Maintain this posture for 60 seconds and do it 4 times.
  4. Elbow Extension
    Holding a small dumbbell, extend one arm at a 90-degree angle. Try rolling your arm back to your elbow as far as your arm’s muscles allow. Repeat each set at least ten times.
  5. Pronation
    Keep your elbow at the armrest of the chair. Hold a hammer and lower it left to right like see-saw swings. Don’t let your wrist bend and manage the motion like a seesaw maintains its momentum. Do it for 10 more times.
  6. Towel Twist
    This exercise will remind you to do laundry. Sit back and grab a cloth, ideally a towel, in both hands. Squeeze and twist the cloth in parallel directions, just like we squeeze water from clothes after laundry. Do it ten times to see results.
  7. Foam Ball Squeeze
    This is probably the easiest exercise to do after an elbow injury. Grab and press the soft plush ball in your first. Keep it for 30 seconds, and continue 10-15 more times with both hands.

Concluding Thoughts

The tip of your elbow is prone to experiencing fractures as there are no surrounding tissues above it for protection.
So, do not avoid any signs of an injured elbow, such as stiffness, soreness, or pain. Instead, you can get it examined by our hand & upper extremity specialist, Dr. Luo, at Randy Y. Luo, M.D. Call us at (713) 794-3307 to book an appointment.

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