Elbow Pain

By Ehren Allen PT, Certified Manual Therapist

Elbow Pain is a common orthopedic condition that may be caused by tendonitis.

Illustration of pain in the elbow.

Please watch this video about Tennis Elbow.

What are 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.

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 wich may develop tendonitis in the elbow. The outside of the elbow and into the forearm is a common area for tendonitis. Tendonitis in the this area is often referred to as tennis elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis. This is because it may happen with repetitive back hand 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.

Golfer’s Elbow involves tendonitis on the inside part of the elbow. This is also know 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.

Rock Tape

Rock tape for Tennis 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.

How Do I Stop My Elbow From Hurting? Home Remedies 

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

JOI Rehab Treats Elbow Pain With Physical Therapy

Jacksonville Orthopaedic Rehab offers physical therapy for elbow pain. 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 athletes biomechanics. If the pain is coming from work, then we would look at their ergonomics at work. Ergonomic education is important in treating elbow pain, as the source of most of the pain comes from how people grip objects or use their mouse on their computer. JOI Rehab could also use modalities such as laser and the graston technique to help manage the pain.


To schedule an appointment at JOI Rehab for physical therapy, call (904) 858-7045. If you would like to make an appointment to see an orthopedic elbow specialist, click below.

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Ehren Allen, PT, COMT

Image of Ehren Allen, PT, COMT – Content Writer

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