Elbow MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) Sprain Treatment

An Elbow MCL Sprain occurs due to overstretching or a tear of the medial collateral ligament on the inside of your elbow, causing damage and pain.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, our treatment of elbow MCL sprains aims to:

What is an elbow MCL sprain?

Within the elbow and the general arm structure are muscles, ligaments, nerves and bone, all which act to support and facilitate movement. The inner elbow ligaments which attach tendons to the elbow joint, upper (humerus) and lower (ulna) arm bones include:

  • Anterior medial collateral ligament
  • Transverse medial collateral ligament
  • Posterior medial collateral

Muscle and ligament tears and sprains can occur as a result of overloading of the ligaments, often due to increased/repetitve sideways force from poor throwing movements. Without appropriate treatment, there is an increased possibility of causing permanent or chronic damage, which may take longer to treat or manage associated symptoms.

Question mark

What are the causes?

An elbow MCL tear or sprain is triggered and worsened by poor lateral (sideways) force and loading of the elbow. Some common factors which influence injury include:

  • Throwing sports – e.g. javelin, baseball, volleyball, water polo, tennis, etc.
  • Trauma – significant fall, vehicular accident, etc.
  • Forceful or sudden lateral pressure to the arm/elbow
  • Repetitive lateral pressure (constant throwing, pushing, etc)
  • Poor muscle warmup/conditioning before activity

The injury usually affects athletes, but can still happen to anyone.

What are the symptoms?

  • Dull to shooting, severe pain – felt in the inner elbow, and around the joint
    • Gradual or suddent onset (depends on injury)
  • Swelling at the injury site
  • Limited range of movement
  • Bruising/tenderness/blotchy skin
  • Tingling/numbness in the fingers
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced elbow strength
Elbow Pain

Treatment for Elbow MCL Sprains

If you suspect you have sprained or torn the MCL in your elbow, it is important to see a physiotherapist or medical professional. You may also be referred for imaging tests to determine the location and extent of the condition, or to rule out a differential diagnosis.


Physical therapy is highly beneficial in restoring movement and reducing pain. At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a unique treatment plan to aid in your recovery through:

  • Stretching, strengthening and/or conditioning exercises
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • A unique home exercise program
  • Graded Exposure to load program

If the pain and reduced movement is severe, strenuous activity should be avoided. Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use supportive braces or straps.

How to book an appointment?

If you think that you may be suffering from an elbow MCL injury, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our team at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess and diagnose the condition. They will then tailor your treatment plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by an elbow MCL sprain? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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