Elbow Joint Pain

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What is Elbow Pain?

Most elbow pains are unintended and get better within a few days. The pain usually comes from soft tissues in the elbows called tendons. You can use painkillers to counter the elbow pain and a few days after if you still suffer from elbow pain, consult your doctor and he will help in curing your elbow pain.

Lack of elbow movement stiffens your muscles, as a result, the muscles around your elbow gradually weaken, which increases the symptoms of elbow pain. However, doing simple and reliable exercises help you to reduce future elbow problems. Arthritis is caused due to long-term elbow pain.

How does the elbow function?

The elbow joint is where the long bone called the humerus, which is located at the top of your arms, meets the two adjoining bones in your forearm called the radius and the ulna. It is also known as a hinge joint, and it allows you to bend your arm.

The end of the humerus has two parts that you can feel on either side of your elbows. They are:

  • the lateral epicondyle – located on the outside of your arm
  • the medial epicondyle – located on the inside of your arm.

Muscles present in the humerus help you straighten your wrist and fingers. These are mutually connected to the brain and nervous system through the radial nerve, which travels on the outside of the elbow.

What are the causes of elbow joint pain?

Frequent use of elbows tends to cause elbow pain. Many sports and jobs require frequent use of hands, wrists and arm movements. Elbow pain may be caused due to arthritis, but in general, your elbow joint pain is caused due to the regular use of elbows joints.

Common causes of elbow pain include:

  1. Broken arm
  2. Bursitis (joint inflammation)
  3. Dislocated elbow
  4. Golfer’s elbow
  5. Osteoarthritis (disease-causing the breakdown of joints)
  6. Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
  7. Pain in elbows while straightening arms
  8. Outer elbow pain and elbow pain while bending
  9. Tendinitis
  10. Tennis elbow
  11. Inner elbow pain
  12. Trapped nerves

What are the different types of elbow joint pain?

There are five different types of elbow joint pain:

1. Medial epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis weakens the inner elbow tendons. This pain is caused due to repetitive throwing motions. Knee and elbow joint pain is the main symptom of this disorder. Example: Players in baseball and golf experience this pain. Golfer’s elbow is the other name for medial epicondylitis.

This disorder can also be caused due to hammer swinging. You may experience uncontrollable pain in the elbow. Wrist movements can sometimes incite pain.

2. Lateral epicondylitis

This disorder is also referred to as tennis elbow.

This disorder affects the tendons present outside of the elbow and is officially known as tennis elbow due to its muscle stiffness. Professionals who commonly experience lateral epicondylitis are

  • cooks
  • painters
  • carpenters
  • autoworkers
  • plumbers

Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis come with pain or burning occurring outside of the elbow. You may also experience both elbow and finger joint pains.

These symptoms usually improve with:

  • rest
  • elbow joint pain after a workout
  • physical therapy
  • Tennis elbow strap
  • Shoulder and elbow joint pain

3. Olecranon bursitis

  • Olecranon bursitis is also known as student’s elbow or miner’s elbow.
  • Olecranon bursitis alleviates the bursae protecting the joint bone of the elbow.

It may be caused by:

  • a blow to the elbow
  • infection
  • medical conditions such as arthritis

Symptoms include:

  • Left-hand elbow joint pain
  • elbow and wrist joint pain
  • swelling
  • pain
  • difficulty moving the elbow
  • Hand elbow joint pain

4. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that disturbs the cartilage, a connective tissue found in the joints. This elbow disorder may be caused by an elbow injury or dislocation in the elbow.

Symptoms include:

  • pain
  • difficulty bending the elbow
  • a locking sensation in the elbow
  • elbow joint pain while lifting

5. Ligament strains

Ligament strains are primarily caused in the elbow joints. It can also be caused due to trauma or repeated stress.

Symptoms include:

  • pain
  • joint instability
  • swelling
  • problems with a range of motion
  • elbow and finger joint pain
  • severe elbow joint pain

Treatment may include:

  • rest
  • pain relief methods such as icing the area
  • bracing the elbow
  • physical therapy

How can we diagnose elbow joint pain?

You can easily diagnose elbow joint pain disorders by the following:

  • Full elbow medical examination
  • X-rays
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Biopsy medications

How to prevent elbow joint pain?

Most of the elbow pains are caused due to overuse of elbows and elbow injury. People who are worried about how to cure elbow joint pain can rely on the underlying protocols to safeguard themselves from elbow joint pain.

You can prevent them by:

  • doing elbow joint pain exercises
  • warming up and stretching properly
  • correcting improper sport techniques
  • using a sports equipment with proper-sized grip
  • using correct tension
  • using elbow padding

Consider taking regular breaks from repetitive tasks. Practice exercises that can strengthen the tendons both inside and outside muscles around your elbow joint.

How elbow pain should be treated?

Every elbow disorder has different treatments depending on the disorder and symptoms an individual experiences. Most elbow disorders require stringent treatment. Surgery is the last option if your symptoms do not improve. Do the underlying treatments for

Some of the elbow joint pain treatments are:

  • complete elbow Rest
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • physical therapy
  • braces or immobilization
  • steroid injections
  • elbow padding

Summing up

Practice elbow joint pain home remedies before undergoing medical treatment. After all the necessary treatments, if you still have inevitable elbow pain, talk to your doctor to determine the cause.

You can often treat elbow conditions with:

  • rest
  • physical therapy
  • stretching
  • ice

In most cases, exercising and stretching muscles alone can reduce elbow pains. Powering your elbow muscles, using sports techniques, and taking intermediate breaks when making repetitive motions can solve the elbow joint disorder completely.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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