What Causes Elbow Pain?

What causes elbow pain? It’s a common question, and one that I field on a daily basis in the San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Center.

Questions such as these rarely have simple answers; the elbow is a complex joint with plenty of moving parts. Any issue of injury or inflammation within the joint can lead to pain – and, occasionally create a cascade of further injuries as the elbow’s natural motion becomes impaired.

Elbow pain requires a careful and considered differential diagnosis. This page offers a snapshot of what orthopedists such as myself tend to consider when confronted with a new case, including how to determine if it’s tennis elbow or something else:

Radial Tunnel Syndrome causes pain that is very similar to the symptoms of tennis elbow (Figure 2). The pain is usually distal to the lateral epicondyle and radiates down the forearm. If the symptoms of tennis elbow are not going away with treatment, rule out the possibility of radial tunnel.

Check out the full page, which comes stocked with useful images to help you diagram what’s happening in your elbow And when you’re ready to see an expert, contact the elbow pain doctor here.

Further Useful Information on Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow isn’t just for tennis players, or even athletes for that matter. It’s not just for day laborers or bodybuilders either.

Tennis elbow can strike anyone, and can turn quotidian tasks into formidable challenges. Many people who suffer from lateral epicondylitis (medical name) find themselves struggling with very basic things that the rest of us take for granted:

It often gets worse when people lift or bend their arm, grip small objects, such as a pen or when twisting the forearm – such as turning a door handle.

It’s true: you can become trapped in a room with a heavy door if your tennis elbow prohibits a strong pulling motion.

The key to avoiding any repetitive stress injury such as this one is to stem the activity that’s causing it – or mix it up. If you’re lifting things all day, switch hands, or adjust your posture. If you’re playing sports, try a different way, or take more frequent breaks to stretch and adjust while you practice.

And if you have chronic elbow pain in San Diego and want to visit the best orthopedist for tennis elbow? Contact the American Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center today.

How to Treat Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow: it’s not just for tennis anymore. Most people who have seen the inside of an orthopedic office know that this common malady is misnamed, but a surprising number of athletes and laborers do not.

The simple truth about tennis elbow is that it is most often caused by dragging, lifting, or playing sports (other than tennis) with hard-to-control equipment. Typically the elbow pain is the same no matter what its source: a sharply aching joint that doesn’t get much better with rest.

Tennis elbow shares a similar issue – pain – with other elbow symptoms, but can be distinguished by its placement. Typically tennis elbow involves pain on the outside of the elbow, sometimes extended to the back of the hand. This is different from similar elbow diagnoses:

[T]here are some symptoms that are often mistaken for tennis elbow, such as pain in the inside of the elbow joint, also known as Golfer’s Elbow. Another condition is pain at the back of the elbow, called Bursitis, which is caused by a cyst.

To find out for sure how to treat your tennis elbow, contact a San Diego orthopedist or schedule an appointment here.

Tennis Elbow, Explained

Tennis elbow is a common diagnosis, especially for people whose lingering pain is associated with vigorous activity. But not every kind of elbow pain is tennis elbow, and not every case of tennis elbow arises from a rigorous day of athletics.

As this article lucidly explains, tennis elbow can result from a number of kinds of motion and impact. What they have in common is a specific etiology and location, namely the tendons of the elbow:

When forces are applied that exceed the limits of the stretch, a tear occurs. The tear may be a minor one; a Grade 1 strain where little collagen is torn and the body’s repair process rebuilds the damage without scarring. Or it could be a more major tear, where the healing process requires laying down new collagen fibers, building new bridges and forming new matrix molecules.

Whatever the severity of the injury, it’s essential to seek medical care from an orthopedic specialist.

Tennis elbow is one of the many elbow issues that I treat in my San Diego medical practice, along with painful conditions such as ulnar nerve impaction, cellulitis and infections. If you want the best approach for any type of elbow pain in San Diego, call my office today.