Elbow Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

In this short video, Airrosti’s Anthony Pavlich, PT, DPT, discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for elbow pain. He also discusses Airrosti’s approach to treating elbow injuries and how we allow our patients to stay active during treatment.

The elbow is a hinge joint that allows you to extend, flex, and rotate your hand and forearm. Elbow pain is often an indicator of an injury to the elbow, forearm, or upper arm.

Elbow Pain Causes

woman sitting at a desk holding her elbow

Elbow pain is often caused by overuse injuries. Many sports, hobbies, and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist, or arm movements that cause wear and tear damage. The elbow joint is also susceptible to arthritic pains due to years of overuse.

Conditions Related to Elbow Pain

A common condition that causes elbow pain in adults is tendonitis. This injury affects the tendons, which are soft tissues that attach muscle to bone. Some activities that may cause or worsen tendonitis symptoms include:

  • Using a screwdriver or other tools
  • Gardening
  • Typing on a keyboard
  • Playing competitive sports

People who play racquet sports are most likely to injure the tendons on the lateral side of the elbow. This condition is commonly called tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis. 

Golfers and baseball players are more likely to injure the tendons on the inside of the elbow. This injury is known as golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis.

Signs of an Elbow Injury

woman holding elbow

Injuries to the elbow can range from mild to severe. Depending on the cause, symptoms can appear suddenly or develop over time.

Common signs of an elbow injury include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Arm or grip weakness
  • Stiffness or reduced range of motion
  • Numbness or tingling sensations that may radiate to the hands and fingers

 

Severe elbow injuries may feature additional symptoms, including bruising and reduced range of motion. Traumatic injuries, like fractures, will need immediate medical attention.

traditional elbow pain treatment

Your doctor may diagnose your elbow injury through physical tests, x-rays, CT scans, EMGs, or MRIs. In some cases, your doctor may order a biopsy of the bursa fluid. Treatment varies depending on the elbow disorder and symptoms you experience.

Most elbow injuries require conservative treatment. Surgery may be a last resort if your symptoms don’t improve. Your traditional treatment options will typically involve:

  • Ice
  • Rest
  • Pain medication 
  • Bracing
  • Steroid injections
  • Elbow padding
  • Physical therapy

Airrosti Elbow Pain Diagnosis, Treatment, and Pain Relief

Man feeling elbow pain, sport injury, chronic rheumatism, health problem

Unlike the traditional approach to pain management, Airrosti treatment is designed to resolve your injury as quickly as possible. Our providers combine manual therapy with a customized exercise program to help reduce pain at the source, without surgery or medication.

Based on in-clinic outcomes, 94% of our patients report that Airrosti helped eliminate or significantly reduce the need for pain medications. 92% of patients reported we helped prevent the need for further medical services.

Airrosti is a covered benefit by most major health insurance carriers, and a physician referral is typically not required. Call us at (800) 404-6050 to learn more or confirm your coverage. In-clinic and Remote Recovery (virtual care) treatment options are available.

Elbow pain can restrict your mobility and keep you away from your most loved activities. Schedule an appointment with an Airrosti provider today to jumpstart your recovery.

Reviewed by Casey Crisp, Doctor of Chiropractic

Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.

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