Why Does My Elbow Hurt? 10 Common Causes

If your elbow hurts, it is important to identify the cause of your pain so that you can take the correct steps to reduce the pain. Your elbow may hurt for a variety of reasons such as overuse, an injury, or an underlying medical condition. If you are experiencing elbow pain, our team of orthopedic orthopedic surgeons and specialists at Orthopaedic Surgery Associates specialize in treating elbow injuries and other conditions. 

If you want to learn more about elbow injury, this article provides everything you need to know about this condition and what you need to do.

10 Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Your elbow may be hurting due to a variety of reasons. It can range from a minor discomfort to a severe condition that affects mobility. The causes of elbow pain can vary, but the most common include: 

Inflammation of a fluid-filled sac that cushions the joint causes pain and tenderness in the elbow. Bursitis can be caused by overuse, direct trauma, or an infection.

Inflammation or irritation of one or more of the tendons which attach the muscles to the bones. This can be caused by sudden force or repetitive movements.

A degenerative joint condition caused by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. This can result in pain in the elbow, swelling and stiffness.

A broken bone in the elbow can cause pain, swelling, and bruising, usually caused by a fall or direct trauma.

A pinched nerve in the elbow can cause pain, tingling, and numbness, usually caused by direct trauma or repetitive movements.

Bacterial or viral infections can cause inflammation and pain in the elbow. This can be caused by a direct wound or from a blood-borne pathogen.

A type of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by an accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, which leads to pain, tenderness, redness, and swelling. It is a chronic, painful condition that can affect any joint in the body.

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis

A chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the joints, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. It is most commonly found in the hands, elbow wrists, and feet, but can affect other parts of the body as well.

A type of overuse injury that causes pain and tenderness in the elbow. This is usually caused by repetitive motions such as swinging a tennis racket.

Inflammation of the bicep tendons which attach the bicep muscles to the elbow. This can cause pain, swelling, and tenderness in the elbow.

Symptoms of Elbow Problem

Elbow pain can vary from mild to severe and can be localized to the elbow or radiate down the arm. Common symptoms of an elbow injury include: 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a licensed and qualified orthopedic doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may diagnose the injury based on your symptoms and a physical examination. They may also order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI, to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.

 

How are Elbow Disorders Diagnosed?

Elbow disorders are diagnosed by a combination of of methods, including: 1. A physical examination, 2. medical imaging tests, and 3. laboratory tests. During a physical examination, the doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and check for tenderness and swelling. They may also check your range of motion, strength, and coordination.

Medical imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, can help the doctor get a better look at the bones and soft tissue in the elbow joint. These tests can help to identify any fractures, torn ligaments, or other abnormalities.

Laboratory tests, such as blood tests, may be used to check for signs of infection or other inflammatory disorders. Certain tests may also be used to measure the amount of joint fluid in the elbow joint.

Depending on the findings, the orthopedic specialist may recommend additional tests, such as an ultrasound or an arthroscopy in order to help diagnose the condition. 

 

How to Treat Elbow Pain?

Depending on the cause and severity of your elbow pain, the doctor may recommend any of the following treatment options:

  1. Rest and Ice – Resting the elbow and applying ice several times a day can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Do not apply ice directly to the skin, as this can cause further damage.
  2. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises – Exercises such as wrist curls, elbow bends, and shoulder rotations can help strengthen the muscles around the elbow and increase flexibility.
  3. Compression Compression wraps and sleeves can help provide support and limit movement of the elbow joint.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Medications Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  5. Physical Therapy –  A physical therapist can provide exercises and stretches to help reduce pain and improve range of motion.
  6. Surgery – In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged ligaments or tendons.

Tips to Prevent Elbow Injuries

Elbow injuries can be painful and take a long time to heal. To help prevent elbow injuries, there are several tips that can be followed. 

  1. Warm Up – Before engaging in any physical activity, it is important to do a proper warm-up to prepare the muscles and joints for the activity ahead. This can include stretching, light jogging, or dynamic exercises to get the arms and shoulders ready.
  2. Strengthen – Working to strengthen the muscles in the arms, shoulders, and core can help prevent injury. Strengthening exercises can include push-ups, pull-ups, and planks.
  3. Wear Protective Gear  When engaging in activities with a higher risk of injury, such as skiing or rock-climbing, it is important to wear protective gear such as elbow pads and arm guards. 
  4. Use Proper Technique – When participating in activities such as weight-lifting or throwing sports, it is important to use proper technique. Proper form and technique can help to reduce the risk of injury.
  5. Take Breaks – It is important to take breaks during physical activity to give the body time to rest and recover. This can help to reduce the risk of injury. 
orthopedics boca raton

 

Where to Get Treatment for Elbow Pain in South Florida?

If you experience persistent elbow pain, it is important to seek medical attention. Our professional team of orthopedic physicians will take good care of you, and will recommend the best course of treatment for your individual case.

If you are looking for a trusted and reliable clinic for elbow pain, we are one of the most advanced orthopedic groups offering treatment for elbow pain and sports medicine in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and West Boynton Beach. For more information about our three locations, please use the links below:

Alternatively, Contact us here with your questions or to schedule an appointment. 

 

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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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