Pain in the elbow is a very common medical condition that, though, can be due to several different, connected or similar reasons. It is very important for every patient (or just person, who has not gone to a doctor yet) to identify the cause of the pain before starting treating it. Treatment of the elbow becomes possible and successful only if the problem is found and understood properly. Otherwise, there is a big chance for a person to complex the medical condition even more. Today, we are going to focus your attention on the various causes of pain in elbows. Here are the facts and the information you need to know about such a health case.
Preliminary significant information about elbow as part of human`s body and its main function for skeleton movement
An elbow represents a joint, which is composed of 3 long bones. They come together in the middle zone of human`s arm. The bone of the upper arm connects to the inner bone of a forearm. On the other side, the outer bone of the forearm represents the beginning of the hinge joint formation. Why are we telling you all of these? Well, because you need to understand from the very beginning that when an elbow hurts, many nearby joints can be in pain, too. Besides, the pain from the elbow usually spreads to the whole arm, the hand and if the pain is really huge – even the palm. Also, keep in mind that the elbow moves the arm like a hinge and helps the rotating movements. This is why every pain in the elbow joint makes it hard for you to move, to perform the regular motions you do with your entire arm. It is the biceps muscle that provides the flexibility of the elbow, which leads to the conclusion that an elbow pain can be due to muscle disorder, but not to a problem in the skeleton, the bone or a single joint of the arm. However, it is also important to mention that the triceps muscle is also responsible for some of the elbow movements. We can tell you that a single bump can cause both – pain in the muscle and pain in the bone. In all cases, an elbow gets hurt and with this the whole arm becomes in pain and deprived of regular motions.
The most typical injuries and disorders that cause pain in elbows
This trauma is also well-known by the medical term Lateral Epicondylitis. In ordinary human`s language we call it tennis elbow injury and as you can guess it is mainly a trauma that is due to tennis injury. The lateral epicondyle is located outside of the bony portion. This is the zone, where large tendons get connected to the elbow thanks to the nearby muscle. When repetitive motions of the forearm are made frequently (not only tennis, but when you wash the windows, for instance, too) can cause such an injury. Eventually, inflammation occurs, which puts the elbow into giant pain that many patients even confuse with breakage. However, even though with no fraction, tennis elbow pain hurts a lot, too. Mainly, 65% of tennis player`s injuries are at this zone.
- Medial Epicondylitis
Here is another sports trauma that might cause elbow pain – the golf elbow trauma. Medial epicondylitis gets inflamed at the zone, where tendons of the forearm get connected to the bony prominence of the inner elbow. Usually, such trauma appears due to sudden or harsh swing (like in golf motions). The pain of such elbow trauma is in most cases local. And the whole tenderness appears over the upper part of the elbow. Many people confuse it with full arm disorder.
- Broken arm
We have said that some injuries of an elbow can be confused with a broken arm case, but the broker arm case, itself, indeed, can cause you some discomfort in elbow joint, as well. When you break your arm 1 or more of the 3 bones in the arm — the ulna, radius and humerus – are dislocated and fractured. The most common reason for breaking your arm is when you fall and land on the outstretched hand. The pain goes over the whole arm, so it is possible to conclude that a breakage has occurred.
Bursitis – the well-known elbow fracture behind the bur-SY-tis – represents a really hurting medical condition that puts an influence on the small, fluid-filled sacs, which are named bursae (bur-SEE) They affect the cushion of the bones, the tendons and the muscles near your joints. Bursitis, of course, happens when the bursae gets inflamed. And the top typical human body zones that get bursitis are the shoulder, elbow and hip. Even they are also possible for body areas like knee, heel and the central part of the toe, it is more likely for a sportsman (or after a trauma) to get it on your elbow.
- Elbow dislocation
It is very hurting to get a dislocated elbow. People, who train for flexibility in the gym, as well as those sportsmen, whose disciplines include hands job (volleyball, basketball and etc), can have an elbow dislocation, too. It is a very serious injury, because regardless the average level of the pain, the therapy that is needed for full recovery is usually long-lasting. The dislocation appears, when the bones that form the elbow “get lost” their common and proper position.
Being the most popular arthritis type, osteoarthritis is a very common cause of elbow pain. 45% of people with early diagnosed osteoarthritis find out about their condition due to the pain in the elbow. The main explanation of the elbow is the following: the cartilage on the edges of the bones get wasted due to the weak joints as a part of the main disease symptoms.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
The disease as a cause of the elbow pain is a chronic disease, which affects both – the elbows and the joints that connect the bones. The main symptom of this affect is the chronic pain all around the arm, including the elbow. Though, the reason for rheumatoid arthritis and the elbow pain, itself, is not due to the inflammation process, but caused by the local swelling of the joint.
- Fractures causes by stress
Ok, don`t fall in the trap that stress can break your bones or damage your arms. Actually, this the stress fracture is something else and it appears due to very small cracks inside the bone of the elbow. The main reason for getting such stress fracture is the repetitive application of force. It might be a fight, but it might be also wrong fitness exercise performance. Running and jumping for long distance that include elbow motions are also very possible reasons for getting stress fracture with harsh elbow pain.
Whether the reason you have pain in elbows is due to chronic medical condition, or it is an incident you have done to yourself (or someone did it), you need to contact your doctor as soon as you begin feeling the pain repetitively. Only a doctor – usually with an X-ray – can diagnose you properly, e.g. to appoint you the right treatment. In time and right treatment can lead you to full recovery, if the pain is due to an incident and maximum relief, if it is caused by a chronic condition.