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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

What Is Causing Your Elbow Pain?

Elbow pain is often caused by overuse from things like sports, hobbies or even occupations. Repetitive motions of the hand, wrist and arm are typically culprits for the overuse type pain. Other causes can include trauma and aging damage.

Some common causes of elbow pain include:

Bursitis: Bursa are little sacs that can be found all over the body, their job being to help reduce friction points. Typically they are flat, but when they get inflamed, they can fill with fluid and swell, causing visible bumps depending on where they are. If the elbow feels achy or stiff, is tender to the touch, and is swollen and red, bursitis might be the cause of your pain.

Elbow dislocation: Most commonly, the head of the radius will be the bone that is forced out of alignment, causing the dislocation. This has a name in young children, called nursemaids elbow, as dislocation can be caused when a child is lifted or swung by the arms. Typically these can be realigned easily, without surgery, but confirmation that there is no fracture or nerve/blood vessel damage is important.

Golfer’s Elbow: AKA medial epicondylitis. This is when the tendons on the inside of the elbow gets irritated and inflamed. Pain, tenderness, weakness and even numbness and tingling may be symptoms with Golfer’s elbow. While named for golf, racket sports and throwing sports can also cause this inflammation, same with weight training. Reptitive motions in occupations like plubming and carpentary can also cause this.

Tennis elbow: Like above, lateral epicondylitis is the inflammation and possible tearing of tendons on the outside of the elbow. Gripping and grasping can be difficult with this condition. It can be treated with braces, acupuncture and muscle release as well as corrective exercises.

Arthritis: Osteoarthrtisitis, or wear and tear, can happen in this joint but not as commonly as other joints like the knees or back. Rhumatoid arthritis can also cause pain in the elbows, but typically presents in the hands first.

Pain in the elbow can be determintal to work and play. Getting assessed and disagnoed can help find the correct plan for treatment so you can get back to your activities!

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