Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is an extremely common complaint and there are many reasons for this. Most injuries result from overuse of the muscles in the forearm as they insert onto the elbow.

Causes

Causes of elbow pain include:

Repetitive strain

Trauma

Type of work you do

Type of sport you play

Types of elbow injuries


Lateral Epicondylitis – Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is the most common injury to the elbow joint. Patients with tennis elbow report tenderness around the outside of the elbow and often difficulty gripping objects due to pain and weakness. Most patients are not tennis players.

The pain is due to inflammation of the tendons at the common origin/insertion point on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). These tendons are in charge of extending the wrist. Generally the condition is chronic in nature.

If this occurs due to a sport (tennis, golf, rowing, squash) often having your technique or equipment assessed professionally will help with symptoms.

Suggested treatment for this condition may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Strengthening the tendons
  • Dry Needling
  • Ice
  • Brace
  • Stretching
  • Shockwave
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Medial Epicondylitis

Golfers elbow is not as common as tennis elbow yet presents with tenderness on the inside of the elbow. There is also some difficulty with grip but not as pronounced as with tennis elbow.

The pain is due to inflammation of the tendons that insert into the inside of the elbow (medial epicondyle). These tendons are in charge of flexing the wrist. This condition is normally chronic in nature.

If this occurs due to a sport (tennis, golf, rowing, squash) often having your technique or equipment assessed professionally will help with symptoms.

Suggested treatment for this condition may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Strengthening the tendons
  • Dry Needling
  • Ice
  • Brace
  • Stretching
  • Shockwave
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Ligament Strain

The elbow is formed by the union of three bones (humerus, ulna and radius) These bones are held together by surrounding muscles and ligaments which prevent excessive movement of the elbow joint. Stress and excessive force can cause strain to the ligaments that stabilise the elbow.

Suggested treatment for this may include:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Immobilisation
  • Myotherapy
  • Osteopathy

Olecranon Bursitis

Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that surround areas in your joints where tendons, skin and muscle meet bones and they help reduce friction during movement. The olecranon bursa is right on the point of your elbow and can become inflamed by things such as infection or repeatedly resting your elbows on hard surfaces. Bursitis can trigger redness, pain and swelling in the area.

Suggested treatment may include;

  • Myotherapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Cortisone
  • Shockwave
  • Rest
  • Gentle stretching of the surrounding muscle

Referred Pain

Pain can be referred into the elbow and forearm from areas above and below such as the neck, shoulder or hand. There can often be associated stiffness or discomfort in that area as well. It can present as an ache, pins and needles or numbness through the arm or hand. Once the diagnosis of the structure causing the elbow pain has been identified suggested treatment may include:

  • Myotherapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening/ Pilates
  • Dry Needling