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GUSTAVEL ORTHOPEDICS BLOG

Why Does My Elbow Hurt?

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Elbow pain can cause a lot of discomfort in carrying out daily activities. The pain can range from sharp pain due to fracture to a burning pain due to inflammation of the tendon. Pain can be constant, intermittent or may worsen with movement. It can also be associated with numbness and tingling in hand. Many conditions can lead to elbow pain, let us look at some of the most common causes:

Lateral Epicondylitis

 

It is commonly known as “tennis elbow,” and it occurs due to the inflammation of the tendon that attaches the elbow bone to those muscles of the forearm that help in extending the wrist and fingers. This condition is commonly seen among tennis players, painters, and weightlifters. The pain in this condition is usually burning, increases gradually and deteriorates with increased activity of the forearm.

Medial Epicondylitis

 

Also known as Golfer’s elbow, it causes discomfort around the joint. In this condition, the pain is usually on the inner side of the elbow and is due to the inflammation of the tendon that connects the elbow bone to forearm muscles used for flexing the wrist and fingers. Repetitive and forceful gripping triggers the medial epicondylitis. It can lead to forearm weakness.

Olecranon Bursitis

 

A fluid-filled sac between the tip of the elbow bone and skin is called the olecranon bursa. In olecranon bursitis, there is swelling and pain over the bony prominence of the elbow. If the swelling increases, a person may not be able to move the elbow.

Biceps and Triceps Tendonitis

 

The biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle to the front of the elbow joint, while triceps tendon joins the triceps muscles to the back of the elbow. In Biceps tendonitis, there is a pain in front of the elbow and it commonly occurs due to repetitive biceps muscle activity like lifting heavy objects. In triceps tendonitis, there is aching pain at the back of the elbow and occurs due to repetitively extending the elbow against resistance like weightlifting.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

 

This condition happens when the ulnar nerve gets compressed as it passes inside the elbow. In addition to the pain on the inside of the elbow, it also causes numbness and tingling in the ring and little fingers. Click here to find more information on Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Radial Tunnel Syndrome

 

This is a rare condition and happens due to compression of the radial nerve which travels down the arm and controls the triceps muscles and wrist extensor muscles. It causes vague pain in the forearm and numbness over the back of the hand and forearm.

Fracture

 

Fracture of bones can happen around the elbow after injuries like a fall on the elbow or a direct blow to the elbow. Symptoms of elbow fracture can include sudden and severe pain in the whole arm, swelling, numbness in hand and inability to straighten or move the hand.

Dislocation

 

If a person falls on an outstretched hand, it can lead to elbow dislocation. The force of the fall can rotate or twist the elbow out of its socket. This means the bones of the elbow joint get drifted from their normal position. This causes severe pain, elbow deformity, bruising and swelling around the joint. It can also lead to numbness in hand.

If you are experiencing pain in your hip, knees, shoulders or feet in Boise, Idaho, contact Boise's top orthopedic Suregon, Dr. Michael Gustavel.

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