Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Causes of Elbow Pain

The elbow is an important joint in our arm’s structure. It allows you to bend and twist your arm, making most arm movements like throwing a ball or doing a push-up possible. Unfortunately, because of its prevalence in our daily lives, an overuse injury in the elbow joint is common.

Overuse injuries often occur when the elbow is repetitively bending, twisting, or brought under stress. Over time, these repetitive arm movements can wear down the muscles and tendons surrounding the elbow joint. This wear and tear can lead to inflammation, nagging pain, stiffness, and other signs of repetitive use injury.

Elbow pain, whether from trauma or overuse, can leave you with nagging pain and limited mobility. Airrosti providers can help you understand your injury and give you the tools needed to address issues as they appear. Consult with an Airrosti provider today to start your recovery.


If you’ve ever noticed persistent aching or dull pain in your elbow that appears to get worse with activity, you might have tendonitis. Elbow tendonitis occurs when the tendons connecting the joint to the muscle become inflamed.

This pain can occur on the outside (lateral epicondylitis) or inside (medial epicondylitis) of the elbow. Elbow tendonitis is often seen in athletes and active individuals, especially those whose sports involve repetitive upper arm movements like bowling, golf, and weightlifting.


Bursae are small fluid-filled sacs that help lubricate the joints. They’re located in most major joints, most notably the knees, shoulders, and elbows, and help to reduce friction when these joints are used.

Everyday activities that involve bending the elbow repeatedly can cause the bursa to become inflamed. Signs of bursitis typically involve pain on the outside of the elbow and a noticeable redness, swelling, or tenderness around the inflamed bursa.

Nerve Entrapment

Hitting your “funny bone” can be anything but funny. While it usually only lasts a few seconds, what happens when that pain doesn’t go away on its own? Whether caused by a sudden impact or gradual overuse, sometimes nerves can become trapped between bone or connective tissue. These trapped nerves can cause a painful sensation in the elbow.

A pinched nerve can make your arm feel like it’s falling asleep. Numbness and tingling that radiates down the arm and into the hand is also a common sign of a trapped nerve. Nerve entrapment can become a serious problem if it is compressed too tightly or for long periods of time. Without proper treatment, permanent nerve damage and muscle wasting can leave your arm weakened for the long term.

Avoiding Elbow Pain

One of the easiest ways to avoid elbow injuries is also the simplest. Take time out of your day to stretch. Stretching and warming up before working out will help your body feel prepared for whatever life throws at you.

You can also reduce your risk of injury by strengthening your arm, wrist, and shoulder muscles. Stronger muscles are more capable of supporting your joints and protecting them from potential injuries. In the video below, Airrosti’s Anthony Pavlich, PT, DPT, shares a few helpful exercises you can use to help strengthen the elbow and alleviate pain.

Throw Your Pain Away for Good

If you’re struggling with elbow pain or a nagging injury that just won’t go away, consider scheduling an appointment with Airrosti. Our providers aim to resolve injuries like elbow pain at the source, rather than just treating the symptoms. They’ll also help guide and educate you on how to accelerate your recovery. Before you know it, you’ll be back doing what you love.

We offer both in-office and telehealth appointments to best suit your needs. Give us a call at (866) 936-1363 to learn more about Airrosti and schedule your appointment today.

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