Elbow Pain

By Ehren Allen PT, Certified Manual Therapist

What are the Causes of Pain without Injury?

If there is no known injury to the elbow, pain may be due to arthritic changes. Wear and tear over time may eventually cause pain in the elbow. Pain and swelling in the back of the elbow may be due to bursitis. This can happen if the bursa (fluid-filled pouch) gets pinched in the joint.


image of male tennis player holding racquet experiencing elbow pain

Pain in the elbow

Please watch this video about Tennis Elbow.

Other causes of elbow pain with no injury to the elbow may be referred from the neck. The neck has numerous nerves that exist between the vertebrae and run down the arm. Irritation in the neck can cause pain to radiate down the arm and possibly to the elbow region.

Symptoms of Tendonitis of the Elbow

Tendonitis in the elbow can feel like a burning sensation or it can ache. Usually, it is very tender to the touch over the tendon that is injured. There are several areas that may develop tendonitis in the elbow. The outside of the elbow and into the forearm is a common area for tendonitis. Tendonitis in this area is often referred to as tennis elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis. This is because it may happen with repetitive backhand swings. But, Tennis elbow can occur from any abnormal or excessive stress on the outer elbow and forearm tendons.

  • If you would like to learn more about Tennis Elbow, this VIDEO may help.
Pain Management for Elbow Pain

Silhouette Of A Person Kicking Pain

Golfer’s Elbow involves tendonitis on the inside part of the elbow. This is also known as medial epicondylitis.  This may hurt with excessive gripping or flexing at the wrist.

It is also possible to get tendonitis in the biceps tendon in the front of the elbow. This may cause pain with lifting or bending the elbow.


Elbow Pain- When to See a Doctor

Typically, pain in a joint will improve as the body works through the inflammatory process. When the pain has not improved in 3 to 4 weeks, it may be time to see a doctor for further evaluation.  f there is no known cause of pain in the left arm and elbow, it can be a sign of a cardiac event and a doctor should be consulted quickly. Typically, those symptoms are accompanied by shortness of breath and chest pain, but not always.

If there is trauma to the elbow with severe pain, swelling, or deformity, then see a doctor immediately to determine if there is a fracture or dislocation.

Olecranon Bursitis and Elbow Pain

What is Olecranon Bursitis

How Do I Stop My Elbow From Hurting?

Ice and anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve elbow pain in most cases. If there is trauma to the elbow or severe. If a trauma or a fall is involved, then ice is still appropriate but you should also seek immediate medical attention.

JOI Rehab Physical Therapy

There are different treatments for the various sources of pain. The first step in rehab is to determine why the pain is occurring. If it is from a sport, then we would look at the athlete’s biomechanics. If the pain is coming from work, then we would look at their ergonomics at work.  JOI Rehab could also use modalities such as laser and the Graston technique to help manage the pain.

Related Articles: Golfer’s Elbow, What is Bursitis? and Tennis Elbow

Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

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