The elbow is a hinge joint where three bones meet in the middle portion of the arm. The elbow functions to move the arm forward and backward and in rotation twisting outward and inward like a hinge. Biceps is the major group of muscles that flexes the elbow. Triceps is the major muscles group that extends the elbow. Tendons are attached to both the outer and inner portion of the elbow. A fluid filled sac or bursa covers the tip of the elbow and serves to reduce friction. Some of the conditions that can cause elbow joint pain are listed below.
Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow are the two forms of tendonitis that cause pain in the elbow joint. With repeated movements of the forearm, the tendons attached to muscles of forearm can be injured. This can happen for persons who often use a manual screwdriver, wash windows and play tennis or musical instruments like violin. Repeated twisting motions or activities that strain the tendon result in elbow pain. Simple braces for the elbow can help to rest the joint and alleviate pain.
Golfer’s elbow is characterized by pain and tenderness over the inner elbow. Repetitive motions like swinging a golf club affect and injure the tendons of the forearm that attach to the bone of the inner elbow.
Bursitis or inflammation of the bursa on the tip of elbow can occur from injury or minor trauma. Bursitis causes swelling over the tip of the elbow and pain.
The bones of the elbow can break into the elbow joint or adjacent to the elbow joint causing pain in the elbow joint and surrounding areas.
Sprain occurs when ligaments in the elbow area are stretched or torn. This may occur due to impacts on the elbow or when the elbow is hyper extended. The severity of the injury will depend upon the extent of injury to a single ligament and the number of ligaments involved.