Elbow Pain: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 23. July 2015 12:53

Elbow pain is a common complaint, which can occur due to various reasons, diseases and injuries. The elbow joint is a complex joint made of three long bones namely, Ulna, Radius and Humerus. This joint facilitates the movement of the forearm. In case of elbow pain, it is important seek professional medical assistance for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Causes

  • Tendonitis
  • Overuse of wrist and arm
  • Lateral Epicondylitis or Tennis Elbow
  • Medial Epicondylitis or Golfer’s Elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • Strain
  • Infection of the elbow
  • Pinched nerve
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repeated twisting motion
  • Elbow fracture or dislocation
  • Sprain

Symptoms

  • Pain that aggravates at night
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Inability to use the arm
  • Any deformity of the joint
  • Inability to flex or straighten the arm
  • Bruising around the arm
  • A protruding bone
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Warmth

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose the cause of elbow pain the orthopedic surgeon may physically examine the elbow. He may ask you certain questions regarding the symptoms and about your medical history. To determine the exact cause of elbow pain, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests such as an X-ray, MRI, bone scan, CT-scan, etc. These tests will help the doctor identify if the pain is due to a fracture, dislocation or other injuries.

Treatment

The orthopedic surgeon will devise a treatment plan after determining the extent of the condition. The orthopedic doctor may advise resting the joint and allowing the swelling to subside. Applying cold and hot packs can provide relief from pain and swelling.
Stretching the tendons and muscles of the joint is effective in treating many causes of elbow pain. Physiotherapy assists in the healing process and the physiotherapist may recommend certain exercises that focus on increasing strength, regaining mobility and helping you resume your activities or daily routine. The physician may also prescribe certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce swelling and pain.

In severe cases of elbow pain such as fractures or dislocation, where non-surgical treatment options do not offer relief, the surgeon may recommend surgery. Arthroscopic Elbow Surgery is a treatment option for many elbow pain conditions. However, post surgery it is essential to follow rehabilitation instructions provided by the doctor and visit him for regular check ups.

Certain preventive measures such as wearing proper gear or equipment when playing a sport, using an elbow pad and taking regular breaks while performing repetitive tasks can help prevent elbow pain.

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