We’ve all been there. One minute your Floyd Mayweather hitting away at the pads and the next you’ve missed them all together and have a sharp pain in your elbow while your partner laughs and shows no sympathy. What you’ve actually done…Let us first familiarise ourselves with the bony bits of the elbow as shown below.
Hold out your arm. Now the Pic above is what you are looking at, the front of your elbow joint. The right is the back of your elbow otherwise known as the pointy and bony bit. Wrapping up this entire joint is a lot of ligaments which are trying to prevent your elbow from moving in any direction excessively. As you were punching like Floyd you forced the pointy bit of your elbow (labelled olecranon in the picture) into its bony socket at the back of your humerus (highlighted in yellow). In doing so probably pinching or stretching some ligaments or the joint capsule which is probably the main source of your current pain.
What to do now..Firstly have a grumpy word to your pad holding partner for not catching the punch you threw. Even if it was a completely different punch to what you were meant to be throwing…because by this point your probably tired, sweaty or were having a chat so its really not your fault anyway!
Now go home and 1) put some ice on it, 2) apply some sort of compression if you notice a bit of swelling, 3) rest it while its sore, this may take a day to a week and you can hit the pool noodles at the gym while it recovers to minimise impact, 4) THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP, use this injury as an excuse to treat yourself to a massage! I can also do some dry needling around the elbow joint to speed up the healing, clear any remaining swelling and decrease any remaining tenderness.