5 Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Your elbows are joints that connect the long bones of your arm, allowing you to move your arm in complex ways. Some types of degenerative conditions can cause elbow pain. Most cases of elbow pain, though, have to do with various types of overuse.

At the Orthopedic Center of Arlington, our team of sports medicine experts, led by Dr. Bruce Prager, can diagnose the underlying cause of your elbow pain. Once we know the reason for your elbow problems, we can recommend the best treatment plan to address your symptoms, relieving pain and restoring your full range of motion.

Here are some of the most common reasons for elbow pain that Dr. Prager sees in his new and existing patients from around Arlington, Texas.

1. Degenerative conditions

You can develop degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in your elbow joint. If your elbows are impacted by arthritis, you could suffer from pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness. Dr. Prager can recommend therapies, medications, and lifestyle adjustments to prevent arthritis flare-ups.

2. Golfer’s elbow

This condition, also medically known as medial epicondylitis, causes inflammation of the tendons located on the inner side of your elbow. Golfer’s elbow typically occurs due to overuse, often involving forceful motions in your wrists and fingers.

If you have golfer’s elbow, you could notice feelings of pain along the inner side of your elbow. Your affected elbow joint could also feel stiff, and you could have weakness in your hands and wrists due to this condition. You may need elbow bandaging, rest, icing therapy, stretching and physical therapy, and medication for pain management to recover fully.

3. Tennis elbow

Also known as lateral epicondylitis, this overuse-related condition causes inflammation in the tendons on the outside of your elbow joint. The tissues that connect your forearm muscle to your elbow become irritated, causing pain felt on the outside of your elbow and potentially in your forearm and wrist, as well.

You may develop this condition due to repetitive motions of your wrist and arm. Dr. Prager can recommend physical therapy, in addition to rest and pain management, to restore your elbow joint.

4. Bursitis (joint inflammation)

The bursae in your elbow can also suffer from inflammation. These small, fluid-filled sacs cushion and support bones, tendons, and muscles in joints all around your body. If your elbow bursae become inflamed, you could suffer from painful symptoms that need professional relief. Treatments for elbow bursitis may include rest, icing, physical therapy, elbow padding, antibiotics, and pain-relief medications.

5. Elbow sprains, fractures, and dislocations

While most elbow pain is caused by overuse, you can also injure your elbow in a fall or other accident. If you have an elbow sprain, dislocation, or fracture, get prompt medical care to ensure that your elbow joint heals properly, without lingering pain or loss of range of motion.

Get in touch with Dr. Prager immediately if you notice severe pain, swelling, and bruising after suffering an elbow injury. You should also get checked out as soon as possible if you notice that your range of motion is damaged, making it difficult to bend, rotate, or fully extend the affected elbow joint.

For diagnosis and treatment options to resolve your elbow pain for good this spring, contact Dr. Prager at the Orthopedic Center of Arlington. You can book your appointment by calling now or using the online tool to schedule.

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