Elbow discomfort - common symptoms
Elbow pain can vary widely. Patients often experience pain on the inside or outside of the elbow joint. There are tendon attachment points that can be very painful to pressure. Movements such as lifting or rotating movements also cause severe pain. When the elbow joint becomes inflamed, it becomes swollen, hot and red. Sometimes even a light touch can cause severe pain.
Causes of Elbow Pain
There are many causes of elbow pain. This includes:
- Golfer / tennis elbow
- Strain & Sprain
- Nerve damage
The elbow joint together with the shoulder joint is a necessity for throwing or striking movements. In many sports, the elbow joint is heavily stressed. Repetitive movements can irritate tendons and ligaments on the elbow joint. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis dependent on the respective sport strain. A tennis player has e.g. different physical exertions on the joints than a handball player or weightlifter.
Permanent overloading of the elbow joint can lead to the very common epicondylitis. This is a disease of the tendon insertion on the elbow joint. The inner tendon insertion (epicondylus medialis = golf elbow) or the outer tendon insertion (epicondylitis lateralis = tennis elbow) can be affected.
Bursae at the elbow are necessary to ensure that the skin slides evenly over the bone at the joint. The bursa also serve to provide a smooth interplay of tendons and muscles. Overload, chronic pressure on the bursa, or a severe bruise can cause irritation and very painful inflammation of the bursa. Finally, there is also a risk of bacterial inflammation from the entry of bacteria through the skin.
Falling on the elbow joint can cause breakage. Sometimes so-called fissures also develop These are slight tears in the bone, which usually cause little pain, but should still be clarified by X-ray examinations. Accidents can also result in sprains and impairments of tendons and muscles.
The ulnar nerve on the elbow is very superficial. When this nerve is irritated or damaged, pain, numbness and paresthesia radiates to the fingers (often ring fingers and little fingers). Permanent pressure, e.g. working with the computer mouse, can damage the ulnar nerve.
Osteoarthritis can develop in the elbow joint as a result of injuries and joint overload or in connection with a rheumatic disease. The joint is sensitive to pain and the mobility of the elbow is limited.
Gout is a metabolic disorder in which uric acid crystals can be deposited in the elbow joint. This results in chronic inflammation and joint destruction. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can also lead to joint destruction.
Diagnosis of elbow pain
As described above, there are many causes for the development of elbow pain. Therefore, an exact diagnosis is essential. In addition to a questionnaire about the origin of the afflictions, a physical examination and possibly laboratory diagnostics are performed. Depending on the posing question, we recommend further diagnostics such as X-rays or MRI of the elbow. Nerve conduction measurements may also be necessary to clarify nerve damage.
How do we treat elbow pain?
After an exact diagnosis, we create a conservative therapy program. We have very good experiences with the injection of the body’s own proteins and acupuncture, especially in the cases with diseases of the tendons (tennis / golf elbow). This combination has also proven very effective in the treatment of arthrosis in the elbow joint.
If you suffer from elbow problems, make an appointment with us. We will then propose a conservative therapy concept depending on the diagnosis.