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Pain In Elbow - Know The Causes and How to Manage It

Written and reviewed by
DNB - Orthopedics, Diploma In Orthopaedics, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Rheumatology & Joint Dosorder
Orthopedic Doctor, Delhi  •  25years experience
Pain In Elbow - Know The Causes and How to Manage It

Throwing a ball, lifting something or even eating requires the use of the elbow joint. This is one of the most overused joints in the body and hence is very susceptible to wear and tear, which mostly causes pain. Pain in the elbow could be the result of an issue with the arm muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones or bursae. The treatment for this pain depends largely on the factors causing it. Some of the most common conditions that cause elbow pain are:

Golfer’s Elbow
This condition is also known as 'Medial Epicondylitis'. It is caused by an overuse of the elbow muscles and affects the elbow’s inner tendons. Resting the elbow, cold packs and the use of over-the-counter pain killers can usually relieve this sort of pain.

Tennis Elbow
This condition is also caused by repetitive actions and affects the elbow’s outer tendons. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis. Resting the elbow can help this type of pain. In addition, patients may also need to wear an elbow strap or brace to support the joint. In some cases, physiotherapy may also be needed.

Student’s Elbow
This is also commonly known as draftsman’s elbow or olecranon bursitis. This condition affects the small fluid sacs or bursae in the elbow. These fluid sacs aid in the movement of the elbow. Leaning on the elbow for a long time, a sharp blow or an infection could be the cause of this condition. It can be treated with medication and elbow pads. In chronic and severe cases, surgery may also be needed.

Fracture or Dislocation
Falling on the elbow can lead to a bone being dislocated or a fracture in the joint. In such cases, the pain will be accompanied by swelling, discoloration and difficulty in moving the elbow. Fractures and dislocated bones need medical attention. Your doctor may advise you to wear a brace or a cast depending on the severity of the issue.

Sprains and Strains
Repeated stress or a trauma can result in a sprained or strained ligament. In such cases, the joint will feel unstable. Pain caused by these ligament conditions can be relieved by resting the elbow, applying a cold pack and wearing a brace to support the elbow. Sometimes, a doctor may also advise physiotherapy.

Panner’s Disease
This condition is caused by dislodged pieces of bone and cartilage that could be the result of an injury. Young men are the most affected by it. Resting the joint and abstaining from lifting any weights can help relieve pain caused by Panner’s disease. In some cases, physical therapy may also be recommended.

Elbow pain can be tricky to treat. Sometimes, it can just go away with rest or with the application of cold packs or rehabilitation exercises. The most important thing is to be patient and get the treatment process started. Make sure to consult with a doctor before treating any kind of elbow pain. Home remedies are best avoided when it's the elbow at stake. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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