Proper arm functioning is essential to everyday life; and arm functioning hinges–quite literally–on the elbow joint. Like most joints in the body, the elbow is made up of bone, muscle, ligaments, and tendons. Damage to any of these can result in a several painful conditions. Read on to learn about four common conditions that result in elbow pain and what treatments are available.
- Elbow Fracture. A breaking, partial or full, of any of the bones in the elbow is known as an elbow fracture. This is usually caused by direct trauma to the bone due to a fall, sports injury, or another accident. Depending on the severity of the fracture, treatment can range from temporary casting of the joint to open joint surgery.
- Elbow Sprain. Sprains involve stretching or tearing of one or more ligaments in the elbow. Elbow sprains usually result from impact to various parts of the arm, especially in an upward motion, while the arm is extended, such as breaking one’s fall with the hands while arms are outstretched. Treatment for elbow sprains involves the application of cold packs to the affected area, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and resting the arm for a period of time.
- Tendinitis of the elbow, sometimes known as Tennis Elbow, involves inflammation of the tendons that connect the elbow with the muscles of the forearm. This condition usually results from ongoing stress on the elbow, resulting from a variety of physical activities, such as playing tennis and tasks that involve repetitive twisting motions. Applying ice to the area and resting the arm, supplemented by anti-inflammatory medications, is the first line of defense in treating tendinitis of the elbow. In more severe cases, bracing and cortisone injections may be recommended.
- Several varieties of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, can result in pain and inflammation in the elbow and can limit range of motion in the joint. Most forms of arthritis are treated through medications and, in severe cases, surgery. The condition can also be managed, however, through exercise, physical therapy, and other alternative interventions.
If you are experiencing elbow pain, request an appointment with a specialist at Advanced Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute today to identify the source of your discomfort and learn what treatment options are available.