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Elbow Pain Causes

Elbow pain can be a persistent and debilitating issue that significantly disrupts our daily activities. Understanding the various causes of this discomfort is crucial in finding appropriate treatment and relief. This article will explore some familiar sources of elbow pain and arm-related discomfort. From tennis elbow and golfers elbow to muscle strains and nerve-related pain, we will shed light on the potential origins of your discomfort.

Early diagnosis and accurate assessment are essential in effectively managing and treating elbow pain. Physiotherapy is vital in most cases, providing quick and lasting relief, allowing you to regain pain-free movement and resume your regular activities. In certain situations, diagnostic investigations and even surgical interventions may be necessary. Consultation with a qualified physiotherapist can offer valuable professional advice and guidance on the most suitable treatment for your condition.

Causes of Elbow Pain

If you are experiencing elbow pain, it's essential to identify the underlying cause to address it effectively. Here are some common sources of elbow pain:

Elbow-Related Arm Pain

Among the primary culprits of elbow pain is conditions directly affecting the elbow tendons, such as tennis elbow and golfers elbow.

Olecranon bursitis involves the inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac near the elbow joint, leading to pain and swelling.

Youth Elbow Pain

Young athletes may experience conditions like Throwers Elbow and Little League Elbow (Medial Apophysitis) due to repetitive stress on the elbow during sports. Active children and adolescents can experience stress reactions in their growth plates, which may cause discomfort in the elbow. Juvenile Osteochondritis Dissecans affects young individuals' joint surface and underlying bone, causing pain and potentially limiting movement.

Neck-Related Arm Pain

Elbow pain can also result from issues in the neck, such as Cervical Radiculopathy, Neck Arm Pain, Pinched Nerve, and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Muscle-Related Arm Pain

Muscle-related problems like cramps, DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), Muscle Strain, and RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) can manifest as elbow pain. Engaging in repetitive movements or overusing the arm can lead to elbow pain.

Other Sources of Arm Pain

Certain medical conditions like Stress Fracture, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis can also cause pain in the elbow area.


The good news is that most cases of elbow pain respond well to physiotherapy, provided that accurate assessment and early treatment. Physiotherapy can facilitate a speedy recovery, enabling you to return to your daily activities pain-free. In more complex situations, diagnostic investigations such as X-rays, Ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans may be necessary to determine the root cause of the pain. A surgical opinion or intervention may be required for severe or chronic injuries, fractures, or dislocations.

If you are experiencing elbow pain, seek the professional advice of a qualified physiotherapist or doctor who can recommend the most suitable treatment plan. Remember, timely intervention and appropriate care can lead to a successful recovery and a return to a pain-free and active lifestyle.

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