5 Common Causes of Elbow Pain

5 Common Causes of Elbow Pain

As of the time of this writing it’s June 2020, and with the world making its way through the COVID-19 pandemic many people have been taking on new projects (such as gardening). The unfamiliar movements you’re suddenly making with your arms (like shoveling and doing twisting actions with your arms) can cause your elbows to hurt in surprising ways. Of course we can help you at Yellow Gazebo with your elbow pain, and would recommend seeing one of our physiotherapists or chiropractors first to get a proper diagnosis. Then they will treat you if they can, and/or potentially refer you to one of our other disciplines such as osteopathy, acupuncture or massage therapy. If your elbow pain requires something more serious, our practitioners may even recommend you see a medical doctor and/or get some x-rays taken. But what are some other common causes of elbow pain?

1. Arthritis. Whether osteoarthritis (where your elbow joint is breaking down) or rheumatoid arthritis (where there is inflammation in your joint), your pain can be relieved if not through manual therapy alone by one of our practitioners, then with a few exercises they’ll prescribe on top of the therapy.

2. Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow. These types of elbow pain have obviously been given their names due to the nature of the way your arm moves when playing these sports, but you can get pain here without having ever touched a tennis racket or golf club. Your lateral epicondyle (on the outside of your elbow) often gets inflamed playing tennis (and making motions similar to a tennis swing), and your medial epicondyle (on the inside of your elbow) often gets inflamed playing golf (and making motions similar to a golf swing). These types of injuries are often helped with some minor manipulation of the muscles that connect into the epicondyles, along with exercise that strengthens the opposite side of the forearm.

3. Tendonitis. Inflammation or irritation of a tendon, especially at your elbow, can be extremely painful and bothersome when it comes to performing normal daily activities. These sorts of injuries at the elbow can be very similar in presentation to the above diagnosis, but may require a little more manipulation. Physiotherapy and chiropractic care are your best bets to diagnose this condition.

4. Trapped Nerve. A trapped or pinched nerve at your elbow can cause pain, but it can also cause other strange sensations such as numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and even weakness in your arm, wrist or hand. It is best to get treated for this condition early on, as leaving it for months or years may make surgery inevitable.

5. Sprain or Strain. A sprain is when the fibres in a ligament stretch or tear, whereas a strain is a tear in the fibres of a muscle or tendon. In your elbow, a sprain or strain is often caused by repetitive use of the joint without proper regard to the muscles involved in the motion (yes, you can avoid repetitive strain injuries with exercise to muscles near the concerned area!). Often rest is needed for these types of injuries, and may include bracing as well. But you should not rely solely on rest - at least have one visit to a physiotherapist or chiropractor before assuming you only need to rest the joint, because sometimes not doing anything can actually make things worse.

If you’d like some more information, would like to book a free consultation or would like to go ahead and schedule an appointment at Yellow Gazebo, please give us a call at 416-909-2334, email us at info@yellowgazeboclinic.com, or use the online booking link below. We’ll be happy to help you get on your way to optimum health.

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