There are a number of different reasons why people would have elbow pain when they sleep. Whether it’s a repetitive use injury like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow or whether it’s something along the lines of cubital tunnel syndrome, the nature of the complaint or the origin of those symptoms will dictate the steps or measures that you can take in order to try to get better sleep.
For example, if we’re dealing with nerve related symptoms with cubital tunnel syndrome, they make a pillow splint that you can wear at night to help you get better sleep so that those symptoms are kind of kept at bay and they don’t allow the elbow to get in a position that would cause the patient to experience their symptoms while asleep and then wake up and then have to go through that whole process of getting back to sleep.
In regards to things like tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, other tendinitis and overuse injuries in the elbow, the main recommendations that I have for patients are before they go to bed, kind of having a routine set up where they perform some stretching exercises, make sure that those tendons are stretched out that they’re moving and and stretching easily.
Take some anti inflammatories, maybe even ice the elbow before bedtime. From there, try to get some sleep so that you don’t just roll into bed after a long day and that inflammation is really built up.
Really focusing on inflammation reduction, or as I said with cubital tunnel symptoms using a pillow splint to help keep that nerve calm down and preventing it from being irritated while you’re asleep.