What's Causing Your Elbow Pain?

What's Causing Your Elbow Pain?

You’re having elbow pain. At first it was just now and then, but lately it has been more frequent. 

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee, are the specialists you need to see for any type of musculoskeletal pain. We provide prompt diagnosis and treatment to get you back to your normal activities. 

Following are some of the common reasons for elbow pain

Tendonitis elbow pain

If you have burning pain on the outside or the inside of your elbow, you likely have tendonitis, commonly called tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, respectively, because it’s a common overuse injury in those sports. 

With tennis elbow, you have pain in the tendons on the outside of the elbow, and with golfer’s elbow, your pain is in the tendons on the inside of the elbow. 

Anyone who overuses the elbow tendons is at risk for these forms of tendonitis. Painters, carpenters, and auto workers may develop tennis elbow, and baseball players are at risk for golfer’s elbow. 


Swelling and pain around the elbow may be caused by bursitis. Like all of your joints, your elbow joint is protected by a bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the area around your bone. The bursa can become inflamed from overuse or trauma. 

Muscle and ligament strains and sprains 

If your hand is numb and your elbow is stiff, you may have a stretched or torn ligament near your elbow; you have a sprain. You’re having pain and swelling, and the joint may be unstable. 

On the other hand, you may have strained a muscle near the elbow. Symptoms are similar and include swelling, redness, bruising, and elbow stiffness. 

Treatment for elbow pain from tendonitis, bursitis, and sprains and strains

If your condition isn’t too severe, you may heal with rest, periodic ice on the area, using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medication, and supporting the elbow with a brace or elbow padding.

If you’re in intense pain, your doctor may provide a steroid injection to calm the inflammation. Once the initial inflammation has subsided, your doctor lets you know if you need physical therapy to regain mobility and flexibility in the joint. 

Research shows that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy speeds healing in soft tissue injuries. We provide PRP if your condition warrants it.

Stress fracture or elbow fracture 

If you’ve suffered a fall or other accident, you may have an elbow fracture. You can expect to have a splint or a cast for a few weeks. When it comes off, you receive physical therapy to regain range of motion. 

If your doctor sees a thin crack in the bone near the elbow, you have a stress fracture. They’re more common if you use a throwing motion, as in baseball or in a warehouse or factory job. You then need to rest the elbow for up to eight or nine weeks

If you don’t stop the activity that caused the stress fracture, you risk a larger fracture. Icing and pain medication help discomfort. 

Don’t wait until your pain is severe. If you have musculoskeletal discomfort, call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today. Early treatment means faster healing. 

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