The elbow is an important part of the human body’s anatomy. It’s the joint between the forearm and the upper arm that allows you to bend the arm. Are you experiencing elbow pain, but aren’t sure what’s causing it? Several things can cause elbow pain ranging from hitting your funny bone to dislocating your elbow, all of which are unpleasant. Keep reading to learn about symptoms, causes, fun facts, and when to see your doctor.
Symptoms of elbow pain may vary based on the condition and the severity. However, the main symptoms of elbow pain include discomfort or soreness along with a decreased range of motion. More severe elbow pain can cause a weak grip, tingling from the elbow down to the fingertips, and nausea. The pain may feel like it is coming from the bone, joint, muscle, or tendons.
2. Cause: Tendinitis
Tendons are what connects muscles to bones. Tendinitis is when the tendons become inflamed, causing pain and tenderness. This condition is often the result of an injury, age, or certain diseases. Staying fit, building muscle, and warming up before excessing can reduce your chance of developing tendinitis. You should also avoid repetitive motions, use proper posture when working at a desk, and not stay in the same position for too long.
3. Cause: Arthritis
Arthritis occurs when joints become inflamed. It can affect one or multiple joints at a time. Symptoms of arthritis include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. You may notice the signs develop over a period of time or they can appear without warning. Arthritis is most common in obese females over the age of 65. However, arthritis can affect both genders at any age or weight.
4. Cause: Bursitis
Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that surround the area where muscles, tendons, and skin meet. They work like grease for your joints and provide lubrication to your bones. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed, causing pain and discomfort. Treatments for bursitis include resting, pain medication, antibiotics, corticosteroids, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. After treatment, the symptoms may disappear, but bursitis can also become chronic.
5. Cause: Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow occurs to people who engage in repetitive activity that involve rotating the wrist, such as tennis, swimming, and golfing. This condition is when a tendon in the forearm, extensor carpi radialis brevis, becomes damaged. Symptoms of tennis elbow are elbow pain that is mild and gradually becomes worse, pain from the outside of the elbow down the forearm, and increased pain when shaking or squeezing an object. You may have the inability to grip or pain when lifting something, using tools, and opening jars. A physical exam, x-ray, or MRI can diagnose tennis elbow. Treatments include rest, ice, physical therapy, steroid injections, shock wave therapy, and even surgery.