Your elbow joint is similar to a door hinge, made to only to open so far. When pushed beyond the normal limit, injury can occur. The average person can extend the elbow to around 140 degrees without injury. Once the elbow is extended beyond your body's normal point, hyperextension can occur. Using a brace can help prevent abnormal extension of the elbow joint, or avoid further injury if you have already hyperextended the joint.
What Makes Hyperextension Painful
To understand elbow hyperextension, you first must understand the elbow joint. The elbow joint is the connection of 3 bones: the humerus, which is the long bone from your shoulder to elbow, and the radius and ulna — two bones that lie side- by-side and make up your forearm. The ends of these bones are connected by ligaments that make up the actual elbow joint. These ligaments are what cause pain when the elbow is hyperextended.
Hyperextension happens when the joint is extended past the normal point, causing the ligaments in the elbow joint to become overly stretched. This can cause pain and inflammation in the joint and can range in severity, resulting in swelling, stiffness and pain when using the inflamed arm. The use of an elbow brace helps keep your elbow joint from being overextended.
Causes of Hyperextension
Elbow hyperextension can happen for many reasons, such as a fall or other injury that causes the joint to be bent backwards. Anterior capsule strain is a condition in which repetitive hyperextension of the elbow causes inflammation and pain. This type is common is sports such as tennis, bowling, swimming or other activities that put repeated stress on the joint.
You may see many professional athletes wearing elbow braces. This is done because chronic inflammation of the elbow can affect those who routinely participate in activities that cause repetitive hyperextension in the elbow. Hyperextension of the elbow can eventually lead to the ligaments becoming weak and possibly tearing. When this occurs, recovery takes longer and surgery may be required to repair the torn ligament.
If you experience hyperextension in your elbow, the American Academy of family Physicians recommends you protect the arm, not only when initial injury occurs but also by wearing a brace during activities to guard against repeat hyperextension. Rest your arm and avoid excessive use until pain is gone. Applying ice can help reduce pain and swelling. There are also over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help manage pain, and physical therapy can be helpful if the condition is chronic or severe.
Note – This information has been taken from different internet sources.