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Elbow Pain

2110 S 17th St


600 Beaman St
Clinton, NC 28328

116 N Norwood St
Wallace, NC 28466

Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is a common complaint that can arise from a variety of causes. The elbow is a complex joint made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, all of which can be sources of pain. The pain can be acute or chronic and may result from an injury, repetitive strain, or underlying medical conditions. The management and treatment of elbow pain depend on the specific cause and the severity of the symptoms.

Common Causes of Elbow Pain

  1. Overuse Injuries:

    • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Inflammation of the tendons on the outer side of the elbow, commonly due to repetitive wrist and arm motions.

    • Golfer's Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): Inflammation of the tendons on the inner side of the elbow, often caused by repetitive wrist and forearm motions.

  2. Trauma:

    • Fractures: Breaks in any of the bones making up the elbow joint (humerus, radius, and ulna) due to falls or direct impact.

    • Dislocations: The bones of the elbow joint are forced out of alignment, often due to falls or sudden impacts.

  3. Bursitis:

    • Olecranon Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa (a fluid-filled sac) over the bony tip of the elbow, commonly due to prolonged pressure, injury, or infection.

  4. Tendonitis:

    • Biceps Tendonitis: Inflammation of the biceps tendon at the elbow, often due to repetitive lifting or pulling activities.

  5. Nerve Entrapment:

    • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling along the forearm and hand.

  6. Arthritis:

    • Osteoarthritis: Degenerative joint disease causing wear and tear of the elbow joint.

    • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition that can cause inflammation and deformity in the elbow joint.

Common Symptoms

  • Pain or tenderness around the elbow joint.

  • Swelling and inflammation.

  • Reduced range of motion.

  • Stiffness or locking of the elbow.

  • Numbness or tingling in the forearm and hand (particularly with nerve entrapment).

  • Weakness in the arm or grip strength.

Common Treatments

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain.

  • Ice and Heat Therapy: Applying ice to reduce swelling and heat to relax muscles.

  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, or prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • Physical Therapy: Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the elbow and improve flexibility.

  • Bracing or Splinting: Using a brace to support the elbow and reduce strain.

  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation.

  • Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damaged structures.

Prevention Tips

  • Ergonomic Adjustments: Ensuring proper posture and equipment use to reduce strain.

  • Strengthening Exercises: Regular exercises to maintain strength and flexibility of the arm muscles.

  • Proper Technique: Using proper techniques during sports or repetitive tasks to minimize stress on the elbow.

  • Gradual Progression: Gradually increasing the intensity of activities to avoid overloading the elbow.

If you experience persistent or severe elbow pain, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

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