Most elbow pain has a very simple cause and clears up within a few days. The pain usually comes from strained or inflamed soft tissues such as tendons. It’s important not to rest for too long as lack of movement causes your joint to stiffen and the muscles around your elbow to weaken, which increases the chance that you’ll have further symptoms. Simple exercises can help to reduce the risk of future problems. Long-term elbow pain can be caused by arthritis. The elbow joint is where the long bone at the top of your arm, known as the humerus, meets the two bones in your forearm – called the radius and the ulna. It’s a hinge joint, and it allows you to bend your arm. The upper part of the radius can rotate so you can twist your forearm.
Causes of Elbow Pain
Most cases of elbow pain are due to strained or inflamed soft tissues such as tendons or ligaments. These tend to get better after a few days with simple self-care you can do at home. Sometimes elbow pain may be caused by a medical condition. Several things can cause stiffness in your elbow, including arthritis. Arthritis simply means a joint that is painful and swollen, and there are some types of arthritis. Stiffness can happen due to problems with the elbow joint itself or with the muscles, covering of the joint, or ligaments.
Common causes of elbow pain include:
- Broken arm
- Joint inflammation
- Dislocated elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Stress fractures
- Tennis elbow
Symptoms of Elbow Pain
Some symptoms of elbow pain include:
- A dull ache when at rest.
- Pain when making a fist (golfer’s elbow)
- Pain when opening the fingers
- Soreness around the affected elbow bump.
- Weak grip.
- Difficulties and pain when trying to grasp objects, especially with the arm stretched out.
How are elbow disorders diagnosed?
A doctor can diagnose elbow disorders through:
- Physical examination and medical history
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Biopsy of the bursa fluid
Treatment for Elbow Pain
Treatment varies depending on the elbow disorder and symptoms you experience. Most elbow disorders require conservative treatment. Surgery is a last resort if your symptoms don’t improve. Treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Braces or immobilization
- Steroid injections
- Elbow padding
Self-help treatments and a few days rest are often enough to clear up a spell of elbow pain. If you have a soft-tissue condition such as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, stopping the activity that caused it in the first place is important. This should dramatically improve your symptoms. If you have a more complex or persistent problem, your doctor will be able to recommend other treatments and therapies.
Depending on the cause of your elbow pain, exercise may help you recover and prevent the condition from recurring.
Exercises and stretches may:
- Relieve pain
- Increase range of motion
- Reduce inflammation
- Strengthen muscles around the joint to help you avoid future injury
How to prevent elbow disorders?
Most elbow disorders are the result of overuse and injury. You can prevent them by:
- Correcting improper sport techniques
- Using a proper-sized grip on sports equipment
- Using correct tension on racquets
- Warming up and stretching properly
- Using elbow padding
It’s also important to take breaks from repetitive tasks. Practice exercises that can help strengthen the muscles around your elbow joint.
Most cases of elbow pain will get better on their own or with simple self-help treatments. There are several ways you can help yourself if you have elbow pain. These include taking painkillers, applying heat or ice packs, changing your movements and exercising. For better treatment related to elbow pain, you can contact Medisys Hospital, a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad. They aid in improving patients’ health. By diagnosing the symptoms they can conclude the exact problems affecting your body or health.