Your elbow is a crucial joint that allows you to lift, throw and bend your arm to perform a variety of activities. Unfortunately, that means a lot can go wrong from overuse due to your job or sports injuries. The elbow is a bit harder than other bodily joints, but accidents can happen. No matter the cause, the result is often the same: elbow pain.
If you struggle with this complaint, then it’s essential to find the cause. The professionals at Spine Institute of North America are here to ensure you find out what’s causing your elbow pain and receive the most appropriate treatment to relieve your symptoms.
What Is Elbow Pain?
Elbow pain is seemingly simple to define — it’s pain in your elbow. However, many components work together to make your elbow the useful joint it is. Problems with any of these can create issues with your elbow.
The elbow is located where three different bones come together: the ulna and radius of the forearm and the upper arm’s humerus. These bones all have cartilage, which allows them to slide against each other and also acts as a shock absorber. Tough ligaments hold the bones in place, and tendons connect them to muscles that enable you to move. Any issues that arise with these bodily parts — or the nerves and blood vessels — can cause you to experience elbow pain.
Symptoms of Elbow Pain
Elbow pain is something you will probably encounter at some point in your life. However, several signs will help you know when you should visit your doctor, including:
- Moderate to severe elbow pain that will not go away
- Swelling or bruising
- Redness, especially if accompanied by a fever
- Pain even when you’re not using your elbow
- Difficulty using or bending your arm
The Causes of Elbow Pain
If you’re having recurring or continual pain in your elbow, a variety of causes could be the culprit. Our goal is to find the right one, so we can get you the treatment you need. In addition to other medical conditions, some of the common causes of elbow pain we see include:
- Dislocation: One of the bones that form your elbow could have gotten knocked out of place.
- Fracture: A sudden blow can cause one of your arm bones to break near the elbow.
- Sprain or Strain: This is when the muscles or ligaments stretch or tear.
- Bursitis: Usually caused by repetitive motions, this is when small sacs of fluid in your joint become swollen.
- Tendinitis: Swelling in the tendons of your elbow from overuse can cause elbow pain.
- Trapped Nerves: Nerves in your arm can become trapped or squeezed because of overuse, leading to pain and numbness.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis in the Elbow?
If a patient is struggling with elbow pain, sometimes it turns out being some form of arthritis. The two most common types that affect the elbow are osteoarthritis, which destroys the cartilage causing the bones to rub against each other, or rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joint linings of the elbow. If you believe you may have arthritis in your elbow joint, here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Pain, either in one or both elbows
- Swelling and redness
- Instability of the joint
- Impaired movement or complete lack of movement
Treatment Options Available for Elbow Pain
When you come to New Jersey’s Spine Institute of North America, we’ll recommend some different treatment options. We always begin with conservative choices first and foremost. However, if these do not help, we may have to turn to a surgical solution. Our goal is to find a treatment that works for you, so you can return to a happy, active and pain-free lifestyle.
Non-surgical treatment options may include a combination of medication, physical therapy or cold and hot compresses for the affected area. However, our practice also specializes in minimally invasive surgical procedures. We employ a variety of techniques including the use of regenerative medicine, such as platelet-rich plasma injections and other interventional treatment options, which will relieve painful symptoms in your elbow.
Make an Appointment at Spine Institute of North America
Elbow pain can be excruciating. It’s also frustrating when you’re not sure what the cause could be. Don’t struggle with elbow pain alone. Contact us to make an appointment at one of our three convenient locations here in New Jersey.
View our other joint pain conditions: