Treating Elbow Pain
Elbow pain can be particularly limiting to everyday life. The elbow joint is the essential link between the forearm and the wrist and hand used frequently in our diurnal activities. However, this flexion, extension and rotation used every day may become painful movements.
Elbow injury and pain present themselves in many ways: from burning, swelling, redness and warmth to pain around the elbow or radiating down the forearm and wrist. Individuals may also experience weak grip strength or weakness in your forearm, wrist, hand or elbow.
There are multiple causes of elbow pain, including wear-and-tear, overuse, impact or trauma injuries and disease that leads to joint damage.
Elbow pain caused by wear-and-tear includes bursitis, an inflammation of the elbow fluid sac, and tennis and golfer’s elbow, which are types of tendinitis unrelated to the sports. Despite the names, they aren’t limited to tennis players or golfers. Trapped nerves – similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and stress fractures – are other common overuse injuries.
OCC doctors treat many patients with dislocated or fractured elbows, which can occur when someone extends an arm to catch themselves in a fall, as well as various strains and sprains, caused by contact during sports or while lifting heavy objects. If you are experiencing elbow pain, the cause may be stretched or torn muscle, known as a strain, or damaged ligaments, referred to as a sprain. In either case, the severity of the injury will determine your treatment plan and healing timeframe.
Another cause of elbow pain is arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, where the immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissue causing a painful swelling in the joints and is the most common type of arthritis in the elbow. Osteoarthritis is when the elbow cartilage breaks down causing bones to rub to rub together.
There are a variety of other diseases that can lead to elbow pain, including Lyme disease, gout and lupus.
The first couple of days are critical when treating the source of elbow pain. While some elbow pain may go away naturally, self-care at home can help minimize the discomfort. RICE – rest, ice, compression and bracing – is often quite effective for minor sprains, strains and overuse injuries.
If your elbow pain doesn’t go away on its own, it’s time to see an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic physicians at Orthopedic Centers of Colorado have a wealth of experience in treating any and all issues that create elbow disfunction or elbow pain.
OCC’s specialists use advanced protocols and innovative techniques supported by the best research, both in diagnosis and treatment. They understand how pain can affect a patient’s whole life and are committed to returning them to sports, work or activity as quickly as possible.
Physical therapy and/or occupational therapy are often a key component of any treatment plan. Our doctors work closely with passionate, caring physical therapists and use the latest technologies to help patients recover, prevent future injury and reach their individual health goals.
If the pain persists, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery is can be highly effective. However, if the injury is severe or other treatment options have been exhausted, reconstruction or other surgical solutions are recommended.
No one should have to live with elbow pain. OCC’s skilled team of highly-experienced physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, occupational therapists and clinical staff are dedicated to providing patients with individualized care. Our innovative treatment programs revolve around each patient’s specific needs, with the goal of delivering outcomes that improve quality of life. When it comes to elbow pain, you can turn to us for personalized, compassionate care. Our offices are conveniently located across the front range and it’s easy to make an appointment. Find the provider that fits your needs and contact us today.