Your elbow is a joint with a complex mechanism of action allowing you to swing, throw and lift. This joint connects the humerus and the ulna radius. The upper arm and forearm bones have cartilage on their ends to prevent friction, allowing smooth sliding against each other during movement. The elbow joint also consists of ligaments and tendons which impact your movement. Any damage to the elbow joint’s bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels can cause pain. Understanding the cause of your elbow pain Scottsdale can lead to an appropriate treatment plan to optimize elbow structure and function. The following are some reasons your elbow hurts:
Falling or getting a hard blow to your elbow when playing sports can lead to a dislocated elbow. This condition involves a displaced bone. You may also develop fractured bones, especially after a sudden blow during contact sports or a vehicle accident. Call your doctor right away if you are in pain and your elbow does not look right. Overstretching or tearing of elbow muscles is called a strain. Sprains affect ligaments. Your doctor may recommend heat therapy, rest, and stretching exercises to restore elbow function.
Joints are susceptible to wear and tear due to the nature of their function. Repeating certain movements can cause wear and tear to your elbow. Bursitis is one of the most popular conditions that can develop over time due to the wearing and tearing of elbow structures. This condition affects the bursa, small sacs with fluid cushioning bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis is an inflamed bursa that causes pain. Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are types of tendinopathy or tendinosis. The former affects the outside of your elbow joint, while the latter affects the inside. These conditions target the tendons due to overuse. The presentation of these conditions will depend on the kind of arm motions you perform during sports.
You may be experiencing elbow pain as a symptom of an underlying chronic illness. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can affect your elbow joint by depleting the protective cartilage that protects your bones from direct gliding during movement. Rheumatoid arthritis happens due to an immune attack on the cartilage, while osteoarthritis happens over time due to wear and tear. Osteochondritis dissecans affects children and involves the death of a piece of bone near the elbow. This condition could lead to breaking bone pieces and cartilage, thus causing pain during physical activity. Gout happens when uric acid accumulates as crystals in your elbow tissues, causing pain. Lupus and Lyme disease may cause elbow complications and require early treatment to preserve joint function.
When to call your doctor
You must receive emergency treatment for your elbow pain to prevent adversities and boost your movement. Call AZ Ortho to talk to a doctor if your elbow pain does not resolve with ice and rest, you have intense swelling and bruising around your arm, or you are having problems bending your arm to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your concerns.