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Other Names:
Pain in Elbow, Elbow ache
Elbow Pain

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Definition

Elbow pain is pain, discomfort or ache in the elbow joint. This pain may be due to inflammation and might not be related to direct injury to the bones or elbow joint.

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Causes

  • Tendinitis commonly caused by racquet sports (tennis elbow), gardening, playing baseball, playing golf, using a screwdriver or overuse of your wrist joint
  • Bursitis
  • Arthritis
  • Elbow strains
  • Infection of the elbow joint

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What You Can Do

  • Immobilize the elbow with a splint

  • Give the elbow complete rest.

  • Do not perform any activities that might use the joint and further aggravate the pain and inflammation.

  • Apply ice for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours for the first day followed by every 3-4 hours for the next 3 days. Do not apply ice directly to the skin to prevent frostbite

  • Wrap an elastic bandage around the elbow. The pressure of the bandage will keep the swelling down.

  • Keep the elbow elevated.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) like Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Tylenol may be taken to relieve pain and discomfort.

  • Consult a physiotherapist to strengthen the muscles around the elbow and learn gentle flexibility exercises.

  • Consult your physician if:
    • The condition does not improve with the above treatment.
    • There is complete loss of mobility at the elbow joint
    • Elbow pain is accompanied with other signs of inflammation like redness, swelling, fever and warm to touch

  • Preventative Measures
    • Stretch your arm and forearm before performing activities that might subject the elbow joint to excessive use

    • Use ice and pain killers to prevent swelling and pain after the activity

    • Use correct sports techniques to prevent injury and overuse of the elbow joint.

    • Wear an elbow band to prevent further injury

    • Perform regular stretching and strengthening exercises

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Elbow Pain