What Are the Most Common Causes of Elbow Pain?
August 16th, 2018 by Synergy Admin
The elbow is one of our most frequently used joints. Our elbows allow us to lift, throw, reach, and perform countless other routine actions we tend to take for granted. However, this constant daily use can eventually lead to painful wear and tear on our elbows. This is especially true for athletes and those of us who perform repeated arm motions as part of our jobs. Elbows are complex joints, which means there are many ways that they can be affected by stress and overuse.
To understand how elbow injuries happen, you need to first understand the basic anatomy of these joints. Elbow joints form at the intersection of the upper arm bone (known as the humerus) and the two bones that make up your forearm (the ulna and the radius). The end of each bone is covered in protective cartilage, which helps them slide against each other and absorb shocks. These three bones are held in place thanks to durable tissues called ligaments. Your elbow also includes tendons that connect the bones to muscles, allowing for various movements and functions. If any of these parts of the elbow (as well as any surrounding nerves or blood vessels) are compromised, the result can be seriously painful.
Elbow pain can result from a one-time injury like a sprain, or dislocation or from a repetitive stress injury caused by overuse through the years. If you have never experienced a serious elbow injury but still suffer from elbow pain, one of these conditions could be the reason:
Bursitis is a condition that affects the small fluid-filled sacs (known as bursas) that help cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis occurs when the bursas in your elbow become swollen and painful. It is typically caused by repeating the same motion over and over, however, it can also result from an accident or infection.
Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are forms of tendinitis that cause swelling in the tendons around the elbow. Although they are commonly associated with their respective sports, these injuries can affect anyone who performs a repetitive motion or act with their elbows such as lifting or pulling. The main difference between these two conditions is that tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow affects the inside.
Unlike a standard fracture that results from a specific incident, a stress fracture is a small crack in the bone that forms due to overuse. Although they are more likely to occur in the lower extremities, athletes who throw a lot (like baseball pitchers) can experience stress fractures in the elbow as well.
You’ve probably heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, in which a nerve that passes through the wrist gets squeezed and causes pain and inflammation. The nerves in your elbow can have similar issues. Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition where the ulnar nerve in the arm gets squeezed as it runs along the inside of your elbow. Radial tunnel syndrome is a similar issue that affects the radial nerve as it passes through the radial tunnel near the outside of your elbow. Both issues can lead to pain, burning, or numbness around the elbow.
Here at Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™, we are able to treat several of the most common elbow injuries. We can effectively reduce pain and inflammation in the elbow using a variety of therapies including such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, kinesiology taping, or trigger point therapy. However, before we treat any injury, we will use our signature Synergy Release Therapy to diagnose the root cause of your pain. For more information or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Synergy Sports Wellness Institute™ today. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for additional tips, news, and updates.