Conditions That Cause Elbow Pain, Symptoms, and Pain Relief Treatment
Elbow pain is often not only a condition limited to your elbow joint. Often, inflammation and pain may extend to the tendons in your mid-arm, forearm, or wrist.
Causes of Elbow Pain
- Repetitive use of tendons and joints day after day, without enough time in between for repair can lead to strains, tears, and inflammation because their tissues develop micro-tears over time.
- Other over use causes of elbow pain may originate in other areas of your arm, such as your wrists from typing on a keyboard, playing an instrument, or knitting.
- A nerve impingement, or “pinched nerve,” in your neck may cause pain that is referred down the nerve and felt in your elbow.
Repetitive Use Injuries That Cause Pain in Your Elbow
- Tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow
- Posterior impingement syndrome
- Little league elbow
- Olecranon Bursitis
Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
What is Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow?
Pain from tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow is due in inflammation of the tendon that attaches to the elbow and is part of the muscle that bends the wrist.
You don’t have to be a tennis player or golfer to suffer from either of these conditions. In fact, only 5% of tennis elbow conditions are a result of playing tennis.
Treatment recommendations for tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are the same, as the conditions are essentially the same. The main difference is that in tennis elbow, the damaged tendons attach to the outside of your elbow and are mostly used when extending your wrists back. In golfer’s elbow, the damaged tendons connects to the side of your elbow closest to your body and mostly used when flexing your wrists forward.
Symptoms of Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow
- Wrist weakness
- Tenderness over the outside of the elbow (Tennis Elbow)
- Tenderness over the inside of the elbow (Golfer’s Elbow)
- Difficulty extending the forearm
- Pain with gripping, lifting and carrying
- Prolonged pain and discomfort may continue for as little as 3 weeks or as long as several years.
Do I Need Surgery for Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow?
Surgery for tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow is usually unnecessary because the tendon should be able to heal with non-surgical treatment.
Some doctor’s recommend surgery that involves cutting the tendon and removing the inflamed tissue. Recovery can take up to 6 months and is not always successful. There have been no studies that show surgery is better that natural non-invasive treatment, such as cold laser therapy, physical therapy, and rest.
Posterior Impingement Syndrome
Posterior elbow impingement is caused by repeated overextension or the arm, especially when the motion is forced. The injury begins with the forced extension causes one bone to jam into another. This causes inflammation of the joint lining. If left untreated, it may progress to pain in the cartilage and bone as well.
Symptoms of posterior impingement syndrome include:
- Pain usually is gradual and worsens over time with continued use and aggravation.
- Tenderness or pain in the back of your elbow, especially when trying to throw or straighten your arm.
- You may have swelling and stiffness, with difficulty straightening your arm
Athletes prone to posterior impingement syndrome include:
- Racket sport players
Little League Elbow
Little league elbow is an overuse injury caused by repeated throwing, especially common in pitchers, during the puberty age of approximately 9 to 16. The ligament that attaches to the inside of the elbow starts to pull on one of the growth plates, pulling it away from the bone. A growth plate is the location muscles attach to bone that have the job of flexing and rotating the arm with the palm down. When pulled away, it becomes weak and injury prone, and may cause disruption of bone growth. With overuse, tissue breaks down too fast for the body to be able to repair it.
Symptoms of little league elbow include:
- Pain around the bony know on the inside of the elbow
- Pain when throwing overhead
- Redness or warmth
Bursae are gel-like sacs that act as your joint’s shock absorbers at the tip of the elbow.. But can become injured, irritated, or inflamed.
Causes of elbow bursitis include:
- Pressure for long periods of time, like leaning on your elbow at a desk
- Traumatic injury
- Gout and rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of elbow bursitis include:
- Inflammation, though it may be hard to detect visually
- Difficulty moving the elbow, pain near the tip of the elbow
Elbow Pain Prevention
Treating your symptoms will give you relief, but prevention for future irritation needs to be addressed as well. Proper ergonomics, stretching exercise, and techniques for increasing circulation are important. Taking frequent breaks, and finding equipment that is more ergonomic are very helpful for prevention. For example, a hammer or tennis racquet with a softer grip will absorb some of the impact on your wrist.
Natural Non-Surgical, Non-Drug Treatment for Elbow Pain
Chiropractic treatment with Dr. Winchell is a non-surgical, non-drug therapy that corrects the root cause of most elbow pain with safe, gentle, natural treatment that lasts. If your are experiencing nerve impingement from misaligned joints, Dr. Winchell will realign your joints that are impinging nerves and causing pain and/or damage in the surrounding area, as well as the affected areas along the length of the impinged nerve. For soft tissue injury, Dr. Winchell will use Erchonia Cold Laser Therapy to increase blood supply to the injured area, simulate nerve function, help generate new and healthy cells and tissue, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing.
Make an appointment for a complimentary consultation and exam to find out the cause of your elbow pain and how you may be relieved of your condition by treating the root of your condition with no drugs or surgery, for a lasting solution.