Just like any joint in the body, the elbow is bent and straightened hundreds of times a day, usually without thinking about the movement at all. However, if you have elbow pain, then every movement of your arm, wrist, and hand can become an uncomfortable experience.
There are several different causes of elbow pain from trauma and injury to diseases that can impact the elbow joint itself or surrounding tissue. Understanding the root cause of the elbow pain is critical to developing the optimal treatment of the pain and the discomfort that you are experiencing.
Trauma and Injuries
Elbow pain caused by trauma and injuries often seems to appear suddenly after repeated use, twisting, lifting, or hyper-extending the elbow. Sports, car accidents, work related accidents, and even falls are common things that cause elbow injury or trauma.
Treatment for pain caused by these issues usually includes assessing the damage and, in the case of a broken bone, tendonitis or sprains, the elbow joint is immobilized to allow the area to heal. Also, pain medications, applying heat or cold, and completing physical therapy are the most often recommended treatments.
Chronic conditions, such as arthritis, can often create elbow pain during movement. Past surgeries or even some types of malformation of the elbow can also result in pinching of the ulnar nerve, leading to the sensation of hitting your funny bone when you bend or straighten the arm.
In these cases, there are a variety of options including, in some cases, surgery to correct the problem. Again, medications, including those specifically designed to help with inflammation, pain, and joint damage can all be helpful in treatment.
It is possible for infections to occur in the elbow joint, but these are not common and are typically associated with surgical procedures, exposure to resistant viruses and bacteria, or people with compromised immune systems. However, cuts and scrapes on the elbows can also get infected, and bacteria can access the deeper layers of tissue and eventually the joint if not treated.
When there is infection and disease, the course of treatment will typically include antibiotics, draining of joint if needed, and the use of pain medications and anti-inflammatories.
Your doctor will need to first determine the cause of the elbow pain, and then you can discuss your options for treatment. You may find that a combination of treatments including medications, physical therapy, and medical procedures are needed to correct the problem and alleviate your elbow pain.
Let us help you with your elbow pain and treatments. To learn more, go to www.suburbanortho.com.