Learn More About Elbow Pain Causes and Treatments

Elbow pain can arise from problems of the bones, muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the elbow area. It might feel like sharp or aching, or constant or intermittent discomfort. Acute sports injuries can cause a sudden onset of elbow pain, whereas many other elbow-related problems develop gradually, and may progressively become worse. To start the diagnostic process, your orthopaedic doctor will ask you to be specific when describing your elbow pain and associated symptoms.

Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s elbow is an informal name for medial epicondylitis. Golfer’s elbow causes pain on the inside of the elbow. The pain may extend into the forearm and wrist. This condition occurs when the tendons in the area sustain damage caused by repetitive stress. Specifically, bending and straightening the elbow joint repeatedly can cause strain over time. The treatments for golfer’s elbow include:

  • Rest
  • Cold therapy
  • Bracing
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

Surgery usually isn’t necessary for golfer’s elbow, but you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon if your symptoms linger or are severe.

Elbow Dislocation

A joint dislocation occurs when the bones that meet at the joint are forced out of place. Your elbow might become dislocated if you fall and land with your hand outstretched. A dislocated elbow typically causes intense pain and visible deformity of the elbow. An orthopaedic doctor will treat an elbow dislocation by administering medications to manage the pain and relax the muscles. Then, a maneuver called a reduction will put the bones back in place.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition in which the cartilage in the joint is worn away. It can develop in the elbow after a fracture or dislocation, or it may be the result of damage due to wear and tear over the years. The initial treatment for osteoarthritis typically includes medications, activity modification, and physical therapy. Severe cases may call for arthroscopy—a type of orthopaedic surgery.

You’ll find exceptional care and sophisticated medical treatments at MK Orthopaedics . Our orthopaedic doctors in Bolingbrook provide a continuum of care, and will walk you through every step from diagnosis to treatment to follow-up. You can get in touch today at (815) 741-6900.

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