What Causes Elbow Pain?

The elbow is both a hinge and pivot joint where the three bones in your arm come together - the two bones in your forearm (radius and ulna) and your upper arm bone (humerus.) Elbow pain is common in athletes and active individuals. It is frequently caused by:

  • Fractures
  • Bursitis
  • Instability/Dislocation
  • Nerve injury
  • Golfer’s elbow/Tennis elbow
  • Sprains/Strains /Tendinitis
  • Osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid arthritis

Symptoms that may accompany elbow pain include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Weakness

Treatment depends on the cause of elbow pain.

How is Elbow Pain Treated?

Elbow pain can be treated nonsurgically using any, all, or any combination of the following:

  1. Activity modification. Slowing down or stopping activities that involve painful movements.
  2. A removable brace or splint.
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Medications that decrease inflammation and pain.
  4. Physical therapy. Stretching and strengthening exercises

Injections may also be used.

Surgical treatments for elbow pain are prescribed on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed with an orthopedic elbow specialist like Dr. Donnelly.