Elbow pain is an inflammation of the elbow joint. There are many causes for elbow pain, and most of them are related to the muscles in the forearm and arm. Elbow pain can be caused by:

  • Overuse injuries such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Performing repetitive tasks
  • Physical activity and sports
  • Occupational hazards
  • Trauma to the elbow joint from a fall or motor vehicle accident
  • Other causes.

Common symptoms

  • Swelling and redness
  • Deformity of the elbow joint
  • Limited range of motion in the elbow joint
  • Arthritis, which can cause inflammation which leads to pain and swelling in the elbows

Common treatment options

  • Rest and ice application is helpful with mild elbow pain or discomfort.
  • Activity modification when performing certain tasks can reduce the risk.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen can alleviate mild to moderate pain.
  • Some treatments involve using a brace, using an elbow splint, or resting the arm in a sling.
  • Therapies like physical therapy and massage also work.

Frequently asked questions

My elbow hurts when I straighten my arm. Should I be concerned?

If you also experience a slight burning sensation, it indicates tendon inflammation. If the pain is sharp and sudden, it could be a dislocation or fracture. If you’re still unsure, see your doctor.

How long does it take for a mild elbow injury to heal?

An elbow injury usually heals in 3-5 weeks, but it may take longer to lift your arm without pain.

How long should I wait before consulting a doctor?

Elbow injuries can be caused through overuse, trauma or from an accident. You should consult a doctor if you have persistent pain or swelling in your elbow.

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