PAIN Problems and

Elbow Pain

What is Elbow Pain?

Overuse and sports injuries cause many elbow conditions. Golfers, baseball pitchers, tennis players, and boxers often have elbow disorders.

What Causes Elbow Pain?

Medial epicondylitis
Medial epicondylitis affects the inner tendons in the elbow, and is commonly called golfer’s elbow and little leaguer’s elbow. The repetitive throwing motion used in baseball and the downward swing of a golf club are common causes.

Can also be the result of a repetitive hand motion, such as swinging a hammer every day at work. This disorder can cause pain along the inside of the elbow. Wrist movements in particular can trigger pain.

Lateral epicondylitis
Another name for lateral elbow tendinopathy is tennis elbow. It affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow. Playing racquet sports or working in certain professions that use the same sort of motion can cause this condition.

Professionals who commonly experience lateral epicondylitis include:

  • cooks
  • painters
  • carpenters
  • autoworkers
  • plumbers

Olecranon bursitis

  • student’s elbow
  • miner’s elbow
  • draftsman’s elbow

Bursitis affects bursae, small sacs of fluid that help protect the joints. Olecranon bursitis affects the bursae protecting the pointy bone of the elbow.

It may be caused by:

  • a blow to the elbow
  • leaning on the elbow for a prolonged period of time
  • infection
  • medical conditions such as arthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects the cartilage, a type of connective tissue found in the joints. OA causes this tissue to wear down and become damaged. Elbow OA may be caused by an elbow injury, or wear and tear on the joints.

OA is usually treated with medication and physical therapy. Surgery, including joint replacement, is an option in more severe cases.

What are the symptoms of an elbow pain ?

Symptoms such as pain or burning occur along the outside of the elbow. You also may experience problems with gripping.
  • Pain
  • Difficulty bending the elbow
  • A locking sensation in the elbow
  • A grating sound during movement
  • Swelling
Redness and warmth may occur in the case of an infection. Medication and elbow pads treat this condition. Surgery may be necessary in severe and chronic cases. Ways to improve these symptoms:
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • The use of a brace or tennis elbow strap
Dislocation or fracture of the elbow An injury to the elbow, such as a fall on an outstretched arm or elbow can cause dislocation or a fracture. Dislocation occurs when a bone moves from its usual position. A fracture occurs when a bone cracks or breaks.
  • visual changes to the elbow, such as swelling and discoloration
  • inability to move the joint
  • Pain
A healthcare provider can move the dislocated bone back into place. They will place the dislocated or fractured elbow in a splint or cast, and give you medication for pain and swelling. Physical therapy helps restore the range of motion after the splint or cast is removed. Ligament strains and sprains Ligament problems can occur in any of the ligaments located in the elbow joint. Ligament sprains may be the result of trauma or repeated stress. The ligament may be:
  • stretched
  • partially torn
  • completely torn
Sometimes you will hear a popping noise upon injury.
  • pain
  • joint instability
  • swelling
  • problems with range of motion
Treatment may include: Osteochondritis dissecans Osteochondritis dissecans, also called Panner’s disease, occurs when small pieces of cartilage and bone become dislodged in the elbow joint. It is often the result of a sports injury to the elbow and is most often seen in young men. Pain and tenderness on the outside of the elbow, trouble extending the arm, and a feeling that the joint is locking could indicate this condition. You can treat this injury by immobilizing the elbow joint and undergoing physical therapy treatment.


Most elbow pain improves with simple home treatments, such as:

Keep the area from getting further injury.

Avoid the activity that caused your injury.

Place an ice pack on the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day.

Use a compression bandage to reduce swelling.

Keep your arm elevated to help reduce swelling.

When Should I Seek Professional Help?

  • An obvious deformity in your elbow
  • A protruding bone
  • Severe pain, swelling and bruising around the joint
  • Trouble moving your elbow normally, using your arm or turning your arm from palm up to palm down and vice versa


There Are Three Main Categories Of Pain:

Acute Pain

Lasts for a short time and occurs following surgery or trauma or other condition. It acts as a warning to the body to seek help. Although it usually improves as the body heals, in some cases, it may not.

Cancer Pain

Lasts beyond the time expected for healing following surgery, trauma or other condition. It can also exist without a clear reason at all. Although chronic pain can be a symptom of other disease, it can also be a disease in its own right, characterised by changes within the central nervous system.

Chronic Pain

Can occur in patients with early stage and advanced disease, and in cancer survivors as a severe and debilitating side-effect of treatment.

Understanding Pain
How does Brain Respond to Pain