Elbow pain typically occurs when repeated activities cause the muscles and tendons in the joint to become strained or inflamed. Pain often travels from the elbow into the wrist or hand and can even be triggered by hand movements such as gripping. Some of the most common types of elbow injuries include:
Elbow pain can develop following a direct impact to the joint or arm bones, or it can develop over time as a result of overuse and repetitive use.
Golfer's elbow and tennis elbow are two conditions that involve inflammation of the tendons in the elbow joint. In golfer's elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected, while tennis elbow involves the tendons on the outside of the joint. Both conditions occur as a result of strain and overuse, and they can occur in athletes as well as people who don't participate in golf, tennis or any other type of sport. Symptoms of both conditions are also similar and include:
The most common treatments for elbow pain involving the soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, and nerves include massage and gentle manipulation of the joint to restore normal function. These can also relieve inflammation which can cause impingement and pain. The use of bracing or sports taping and anti-inflammatory medications can also be suggested. A physical therapist will provide treatments to the elbow manually and provide exercises and conditioning to improve the strength of the surrounding muscles to better support the joint. Each patient's treatment will be based on a careful evaluation of the symptoms to determine the specific cause of pain and other symptoms.