The 5 Major Causes of Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is a common symptom due to damage to the joint’s tendons, nerves, bursae, or bones. The condition can occur gradually and worsen over time, or it can be sudden due to trauma like a fall. As such,  Dr. Peter Wenger, an elbow pain specialist, advises patients to seek an expert diagnosis as soon as possible to understand the nature of the condition. Many factors could be behind the pain ranging from dislocations to arthritis. The condition affects people of all ages, but some people are more likely to develop it. Let us look at the main reasons for elbow pain.

Lateral Epicondylitis

This is commonly known as tennis elbow and is the most common reason behind many elbows pain cases. It occurs due to the inflammation of the tendon attaching the elbow bone to the forearm muscles. You are more prone to this condition if your activities involve moving the forearm muscles repeatedly in a similar way. Therefore, your risks of developing elbow pain due to lateral epicondylitis are higher if you are a tennis player, painter, weightlifter, or plumber. The pain from this condition happens gradually and can make gripping objects hard.

Medial Epicondylitis

This is another common cause of elbow pain and is sometimes referred to as golfer’s elbow. The condition causes pain in the inner side of your elbow near the joint. It occurs due to inflammation of the connecting tendon to the muscles and elbow bone. It affects the muscles that flex your fingers and wrist and may make holding objects difficult. It can also weaken your forearm muscles. In many cases, you develop medial epicondylitis when you use force to grip a racquet, golf club, or heavy object repeatedly.

Elbow Fractures

You can break your elbow bone when you fall on your hand or elbow. This leads to fracture, associated with painful symptoms, and you should seek urgent care. Radial head fractures and olecranon fractures are the main elbow fractures and are associated with several symptoms. You can experience swelling, sudden severe pain in the forearm or elbow, tingling or numbness in your hand, or an inability to straighten your arm.

Elbow Dislocation

Although a dislocation to the elbow is not common, it can occur when you fall onto your hand’s palm. The force generated when your hand hits the ground twists the elbow out of its socket and could make the bones separate. Elbow dislocation can cause swelling, bruising, tingling, numbness of the hand, and elbow deformity. If you suspect you are experiencing pain due to an elbow dislocation, you should not wait to seek treatment.

Radial Tunnel Syndrome

This condition happens when the radial nerve running down your arm is compressed. Since the nerve controls wrist extensor muscles and the triceps muscles, it is more common for those involved in rotating the arm over and over, such as mechanics and carpenters. With radial tunnel syndrome, you experience vague pain that occurs gradually. Also, you can experience numbness in the back of your hand running to the back of your forearm.

If you are experiencing pain in your elbow, it is good to evaluate the possible causes of your condition to determine the best treatment approach. Get in touch with the elbow pain specialist at Princeton Sports and Family Medicine, P.C., for expert help. You can book an online appointment or contact emergency care when you need urgent care.

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