What is Causing my Elbow Pain?

Posted on October 20th, 2022 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Elbows handle a lot of movement and pressure daily, from lifting and throwing to hugging and more. Elbows are formed where three bones in the arm meet: the humerus, ulna, and radius. Because they are complex, elbows have a high risk of injury and pain.

Possible Causes of Elbow Pain:

One-Time Injuries

Your elbow pain may be caused by a one-time event that injured the area, such as a hard fall while playing a sport or in a car accident. These injuries include: 

  • Dislocation – When one of the bones that meet to create the elbow gets pushed out of place, the result is a dislocated elbow. Dislocation often occurs when trying to catch yourself during a fall or in small children when they are lifted by their hands or arms.  
  • Fracture or break – It’s possible for your arm bones to break or fracture near the elbow. This typically occurs as a result of a hard and sudden blow. 
  • Strain or sprain – Sprains and strains can occur from too much pressure on the area or intense use when lifting heavy objects or playing sports. When the muscles in your elbow are stretched or torn, the result is a strain. If you injure the ligaments, it’s a sprain. 

Wear and Tear Injuries

Other injuries will appear and worsen over time due to repeated actions, resulting in the following: 

  • Bursitis – Bursa are small fluid sacs that cushion the body’s joints, bones, muscles, and tendons. When they become inflamed, bursitis occurs, usually due to repetitive motions. 
  • Trapped nerves – Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hands and wrists, nerves can get trapped and squeezed in the elbow, causing numbness, tingling, and pain.
  • Tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow – Getting their name from the frequency at which tennis and golf players are diagnosed with this condition, tennis and golfer’s elbow are both types of tendinopathy and tendinosis, meaning the tendons around the elbow are damaged due to overuse. Tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow, while golfer’s elbow affects the inside.  


There are several diseases that can affect the elbow and cause pain and discomfort, like:

  • Arthritis – Many types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, can affect the joints around the elbow, cousin pain, swelling, and discomfort. 
  • Gout – Those with gout deal with a buildup of uric acid in the tissues, which can occur in the elbow, causing serious pain. 
  • Lupus – Lupus is an autoimmune disease meaning the body mistakenly attacks healthy parts of the body. Though this disease more often affects the hands and feet, problems with the elbows can occur. 
  • Lyme disease – Carried by ticks, untreated Lyme disease affects the nervous system and can lead to pain in the joints throughout the body, including around the elbow.  

If you have lingering or severe elbow pain and your quality of life is impacted, don’t hesitate to reach out to an orthopaedic specialist for diagnosis and treatment. 

For top-quality orthopaedic care and elbow pain treatment, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group!

It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.