Elbow problems are usually caused by overuse or injury of the forearm and elbow joint. The tendons that attach your elbow to the bones around it are called tendons. When you injure them, you can feel a dull ache in your wrist, elbow, forearm, and sometimes hand. You may also have a “pins and needles” sensation as if there is a tight band around your elbow. These symptoms are caused by the tendons rubbing against each other and can be very painful. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy or surgery if your elbow joint pain is severe enough. He or she may suggest physical therapy first to try to figure out the cause of the problem before recommending surgery. You will probably never know exactly what is causing your elbow joint pain, but rest assured that it can be treated and healed.
Elbow problems tend to be more common in people who are overweight. They can also be the result of arthritis. Many people do not realize that their arm is a joint just like your hands and fingers and tendons, ligaments and muscles work together in a complex manner. It can be quite a shock to learn that your elbow, like your joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and muscles all play a role in the operation of your elbow joint. Your elbow joint pain may also be related to tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and gout.
When you visit an elbow doctor, he or she will most likely use x-rays, lab tests and computerized tomography (CT) scans. X-rays help to determine swelling and possible fractures as well as discoloration and deformities. When there is swelling or a herniated disk, it may not be possible to diagnose the exact cause. In these cases, surgery is indicated.
Lab tests are used to test your upper extremity strength, flexibility, and reflexes. The result from these tests may determine whether you have arthritis or another injury causing your elbow joint pain. A physical examination and a thorough assessment of your medical history will enable your doctor to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Certain conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism may play a role in elbow joint pain.
An elbow doctor will most likely recommend physical therapy to correct damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bursae. If you have an acute injury or if you do not feel well, you should seek treatment immediately. Resting the affected elbow may help reduce inflammation and promote healing.