Elbow pain can be a huge problem because it is usually persistent and recurrent when it occurs. It may also be triggered to recur by carrying out the daily life activities which means it reduces the effectiveness and quality of work that can be done from day to day. The elbow allows for many movements to be carried out. It is a complex joint made of three different bones joint together.

1. Causes of Elbow Joint Pains

There are many causes of elbow joint pains. Some are usually very serious whereas some may pass without even medication after a short while. Here are the most common causes of elbow joint pains.

Dislocation - It occurs when one of the three bones forming the elbow joint is moved out of place. When disruption occurs, medical attention must be sought for the joint to be placed back to place.

Strains and Sprains - They occur when the elbow is pushed too far during activities causing the ligaments or tendons that hold the muscles and bones in place to tear down.

Fractures - They happen when one of the three bones at the elbow breaks. Fractures take long to heal, and a lot of care is needed before the arm can regain full mobility. Sometimes full mobility may never be acquired again.

Bursitis - It is brought about by repeating the same motion over and over for long. Some diseases may also bring about the condition.

Injuries - Various incidences may cause injuries to the elbow. These could be accidents, falls or getting hit on the elbow amongst other causes. Injuries may bring about fractures or dislocations.

Tendinitis - This is a condition that causes the elbows to swell at the tendons. The swelling causes two conditions: golfers’ elbows and tennis elbow. They aren't restricted to golfers and tennis players only.

Diseases - Several diseases may lead to elbow pains. These diseases include; arthritis, Osteochondritis Dissecans, gout, Lyme disease, and lupus. The most common disease-causing elbow joint is arthritis. Several types of arthritis may occur including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Stress Fractures - Another common cause of elbow pain is stress fractures. They are small cracks to the bones caused by repetitive overuse of the elbows. They may also occur due to normal use when diseases such as osteoporosis weaken the bones. 

2. How to Avoid Elbow Injuries?

There are certain measures that can be taken to avoid elbow injuries, depending highly on what you do every day. Here are some tips to use to avoid elbow injuries or stop elbow pain for good:

Sports, elbow injuries can be avoided by doing stretches before and after participating in the game. It is also essential to have the required practice and learn how to do the sport in the right way so that injuries are least likely to occur. Other measures in sports include avoiding falls and using the necessary and required protective equipment to keep the injuries at Bay.

For those who work and likely to get sports injuries from work, care should also be taken to ensure there aren't any elbow joints affecting you. One of the ways to do this is to ensure that you can rotate through different tasks if some of the tasks are repetitive.

It is also important to ensure that you undertake safety and precautionary measures recommend at work to stay safe of work injuries. Ensure you use all necessary safety equipment and follow procedures. Another great way of keeping elbow pain away is through taking care of your body as required to stay away from diseases. You may also strengthen your bones to ensure you are strong enough for daily activities.

​3. Treating Elbow Pains

Several ways can be used to treat elbow pains. The choice of the method to use depends highly on the cause of the injury. Here are some of the common ways how you can treat elbow pain.

Stop Elbow Pain

Heat and Ice Therapy - This is done to relieve the pain and reduce inflammation at the elbow. Heat therapy is the most preferred because it can get to the joints easily. The heat pack should be placed directly on the area with pain but avoiding direct contact with the hot fluid. It should also be used to several times in a day at least two times.

Stretching - Elbow pain can also be quickly relieved by doing simple stretches. To ensure safety, the stretches should be done in such a way that there isn't any pain being felt. If there is pain avoid doing the stretches. Lightly perform the stretches holding and repeating the motions.

Use Counterforce Braces - Braces are used where motion needs to be monitored and the force dissipated to counter pain to the elbow. The brace should be worn close to the area where the pain is being felt. The braces monitor the activities being carried out and reduce force on the elbow thereby reducing pain.

Immobilization Braces - Immobilization should be done when the elbow has a serious problem like a fracture or dislocation. In immobilization, the arm is completely restricted from movement. Immobilization completely restricts movement giving the muscles and the bones time to completely rest and heal.

Medication - Sometimes all you need to relieve elbow pain is medication. This can be taken in the form of pain relieving medication or applied as muscle relaxant gels or prescription like carisoprodol 350 mg. When using medical care should be taken to not overindulge especially on pain relieving medication as it can be addictive. Some pills also have side effects that might bring more issues in the long run.

Treatment for elbow pain can be sought from different professionals depending on the severity of the pain and the treatment preferred. For instance treatment for a fractured elbow should only be sought from a doctor.

In case the issue is not serious, treatment can be sought from chiropractors or physical therapists. Sometimes using different professionals can result in a more wholesome treatment regime with better results.

Contact us to find out more about elbow pain relief and how you can prevent or treat related injuries.

(Last Updated On: October 28, 2020)

A senior academic researcher, reviewer, and editor, Dr. Declan Pouros is also an internationally accredited psychotherapist. He earned his PhD in Psychological Counseling and Guidance, and in the years since, he has taught in the Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance himself.He has also authored papers that have gone on to appear in such world-renowned journals as the European Journal of Psychological Assessment, Psychological Reports, the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Asia Pacific Psychiatry, and Computers in Human Behaviour.