What is elbow pain?

Elbow pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort in the elbow joint of your arm. Anyone can experience elbow pain. Usually, elbow pain is caused by an injury, such as a blow to the elbow, or inflammation of the elbow joint.

Elbow Problems Spotlight

Often, injury or inflammation of the elbow is a result of a sports injury or a repetitive use injury. In mild cases, elbow pain may result from wear and tear on your elbow joint. Severe cases of elbow pain may result from a broken bone. Other, less common causes of elbow pain include skin growths, such as cysts or tumors, or infection of the elbow.

Treatment for elbow pain is dependent on the cause. In mild cases, resting the elbow and using home treatments, such as cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain medications may be adequate. In serious cases, elbow pain may require physical therapy, prescription drugs, or even surgery.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have elbow pain in conjunction with a broken bone, paralysis or numbness of the limb below the elbow, or excessive bleeding.

If your elbow pain is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with elbow pain?

Elbow pain may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Musculoskeletal symptoms that may occur along with elbow pain

Elbow pain may accompany other symptoms affecting the muscles, tendons, bones and cartilage including:


What causes elbow pain?

Elbow pain is caused by damage to the muscles, tendons, bones, or other tissues that make up the elbow joint. Generally, elbow pain is caused by inflammation or an injury, such as a blow to the elbow or a repetitive use injury. Less commonly, elbow pain may be related to an infection, a growth, a pinched nerve, or even cancer.

Common causes of elbow pain

Elbow pain is o... Read more about elbow paincauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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