There can be several causes for pain in the elbow. It can be caused by overuse of the elbow, which sometimes we hear complaints from tennis players. It can be caused by a fall or a blow to the elbow. It can also be caused by the use of an exercise machine if not used correctly. The list can go on and on, but for practical purposes, let’s find out more about elbow pain, and how to take care of it if confronted with this situation.
Elbow tendinitis is called by many names such as tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, or pitcher’s elbow. This type of pain in the elbow is generally caused by repeated motions. The action isn’t as important as the repetition.
Tendinitis pain generally is concentrated at the outside or inside of the elbow, and in some cases may spread up or down the arm.
Getting involved in sports is not the only time that a person can get elbow pain. Pain in this area can be caused by certain movements, such as lifting objects in a certain way when rotating your hand, or clenching or squeezing something in your fist.
Pain in the elbow can also be caused by arthritis, injuries to the joint, and its surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There can be pain due to bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of what is known as bursa.
The bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts like a cushion, and is often located near the various joints in the body. When there is inflammation of the bursa, it will cause pain and swelling. Some students are known to get bursitis of the elbow, known as “student’s elbow, due to prolonged pressure of the elbow against the desk.
What is known as cubital tunnel syndrome is what we know as a blow to the “funny bone,” which can be very painful. It often occurs in sports activities where there are blows to the back of the elbow. When this area is badly hit, it can cause loss of strength in the hand and numbness and a tingling sensation that spreads from the elbow down to the ring and little fingers. Because the pressure on the nerve is usually caused by scar tissue, surgery may be needed.
In regards to elbow tendinitis and bursitis in the elbow, a doctor is seldom needed. A person can help themselves by not using the area that is painful, which means one has to rest for awhile until the pain subsides. Placing ice on a swelling or where there is pain is a very good way to relieve pain. It is important to apply ice as soon as possible after the injury. Apply ice for 20 minutes every two to three hours while awake. A good idea is to use crushed ice and wrap it in a towel. This can be used instead of an ice pack. Between using the ice packs, it is wise to use an ace type bandage if there is any swelling. When going to sleep at night, place a pillow under the area of the pain or swelling.
Source: A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions
The American Medical Association, Encyclopedia of Medicine