Where Does it Hurt?

Elbow

Pain in the elbow can arise from a variety of causes, ranging from overuse to sudden injury or a serious medical condition. Elbow pain can interfere greatly with your daily life, making it difficult to sleep, work, or enjoy hobbies and recreation. Shasta Orthopaedics can help with your elbow problems and get you back to enjoying your routine.

Common Elbow Problems

Osteoarthritis
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the joint of the elbow
  • Stiffness after periods of inactivity
  • Limited motion of the elbow joint
  • Tenderness and occasional swelling in or around the joint
  • Enlarged elbow joints
  • Sensation of grinding associated with movement and pain

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cartilage that protects and cushions the joints breaks down over time, causing bones to rub together and cause damage. Osteoarthritis can affect various parts of the body in addition to the elbow, including the spine, fingers, thumbs, hips, knees, or toes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Painful, swollen or stiff elbow joints
  • Symptoms commonly affect the same joints on both sides of the body
  • Stiffness in the morning or after period of inactivity
  • Appearance of bumps on the elbow
  • Fatigue
  • General ill feeling
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the tissue lining, or membranes, of the joints become inflamed. It is important to seek medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, as the condition may destroy the joint tissues, causing permanent disability.

Pinched Nerve
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Sharp pain in the back, neck, or shoulder
  • Shooting pain that spreads into the arm and hand
  • May affect both elbows depending on the severity
  • Numbness in the elbow
  • "Pins and needles" sensations in the elbow
  • Burning sensations
  • Weakness in the arm or hand

A pinched nerve in the back, neck or shoulder can cause symptoms in the elbow. The term pinched nerve designates a type of injury or damage to a nerve or set of nerves, most commonly resulting from compression, constriction, or stretching of the surrounding area. A pinched nerve may also result from arthritis. The severity of this condition can range from minor and temporary to long lasting and serious. Pinched nerves often result from activity and movement in work and recreational settings. A pinched nerve may occur in the elbow itself, causing a condition called ulnar nerve compression.

Bursitis
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the elbow, especially with motion or pressure
  • Swelling in the elbow
  • Redness and warmth

Bursae are fluid filled sacs that create a cushion between the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscle, and skin. Bursitis describes a condition in which one or more of these sacs become inflamed. This condition is commonly caused by repeated movement or prolonged pressure on the affected area. Bursitis can be caused by overuse, injury, or conditions like arthritis or infection.

Olecranon Bursitis
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the elbow, especially with movement or pressure
  • Swelling of the elbow
  • Lump felt in the back of the elbow
  • Redness or warmth in the elbow
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Olecranon bursitis, also called Popeye elbow, describes a type of bursitis that affects the back of the elbow and causes the area to swell. This condition can develop as a result of an injury or infection.

Tendon Injury
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the elbow
  • Tenderness
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased movement of the arm

Tendons are the tough, rope-like fibers that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendon injuries can be caused by repeated activity, wear and tear, or aging. Common conditions related to tendon injury include tendon inflammation, known as Tendonitis, and Tendonosis, which describes tiny tears that occur in the connective tissue in or around the tendon. Tendinopathy describes the occurrence these two conditions simultaneously. Symptoms that affect the outside of the elbow may be tennis elbow, while symptoms in the inner elbow are referred to as golfer’s elbow.

It is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms in your elbow.

Symptoms in your elbow can indicate serious medical conditions that require immediate medical attention, including heart attack and infection.

Seek emergency medical care immediately if you have been injured or if your symptoms are severe. In the context of all elbow problems, early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to prevent further damage and complications.

Once emergency care has been administered, orthopaedic medicine may be able to help immensely with pain symptoms that can arise from a variety of conditions, or linger long after an injury.