The bursa becomes inflamed due to infection, trauma, pressure or a medical condition.
Helping you return to active living
Your elbow is a joint that consists of bone, cartilage, ligaments and fluid surrounded by muscles and tendons. Problems or trauma to any of these can cause elbow pain.
In many cases, elbow pain improves with simple self-care. But if your pain is severe, doesn’t get better or is making it hard to do daily activities, you should seek help.
Our team is here for you. They can determine the cause of your pain and help you find relief.
Symptoms and diagnosis
If pain is getting the best of you, turn to us
Elbow pain can have many causes, from overuse and injuries to chronic conditions like arthritis. This means you can have many different symptoms.
Common symptoms associated with elbow pain include:
Burning in the outer part of your elbow
Discomfort when moving your arm
Loss of range of motion
Numbness, tingling or pain in your hand
Redness and/or warmth
Weakened grip strength
Weakness when bending your elbow or twisting your forearm
Testing and diagnosis
To find the sources of your pain, doctors may do one or more tests. These include:
A physical exam
Fluid testing, which involves examining fluid from the bursa, the sac that surrounds the bony point of your elbow
Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT, MRI or ultrasound
Electromyography, a test that evaluates muscle and nerve health
Based on your symptoms and test results, doctors will make a diagnosis. Common diagnoses include:
Entrapment of your ulnar nerve near your elbow.
The bones of your elbow joint are out of alignment.
A break of one of the bones that make up your elbow.
Cartilage that cushions the bones of your elbow joint wear away.
A condition in which your immune system attacks your own body, damaging your joints.
A ligament that’s torn or stretched.
A muscle that is torn or stretched
A type of tendinitis, or swelling of the tendons of your elbow.
Treatments and research
Relieving your pain, helping you get back to everyday life
Treatment will depend on the cause of your pain. It can include:
Home treatments, including rest, ice and heat
Immobilization of your elbow with braces, splints or slings
Medication, such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or corticosteroids
Physical or occupational therapy to improve flexibility, strength and range of motion
Surgery to repair ligaments or tendons, restore bone alignment, release an entrapped nerve or replace your elbow joint
Our team works with you to find the therapies that will be of most help.
Meet our team
The help you need from specialists who care
A team of experts may be involved in your care if you have elbow pain.
It includes radiologists, physical therapists, sports medicine doctors and orthopedic hand and upper extremity surgeons. Athletic trainers, health psychologists, occupational therapists and others may have roles as well. They work together to lessen your discomfort and help you return to the activities that are important to you.
Getting you back to the activities you enjoy
Joint pain, a broken bone or other conditions that affect how your body moves can sideline you from the activities you enjoy. Our orthopedic specialists can treat your orthopedic needs.Learn more
Find care near by
Patient and support services
Timely services, helpful information
We offer several services and resources for people with orthopedic conditions, including elbow pain.
If you have a new elbow injury that needs evaluation, Priority OrthoCare can direct you to the provider best suited to meet your needs. This service is offered Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
We offer a comprehensive joint replacement program, should you need joint replacement surgery. It includes expert surgical care and pre-surgery education and support.
In many cases, our physical and occupational therapists can relieve your pain, reduce your need for medication and help you possibly avoid surgery.
If your elbow pain is related to a sports injury, our physical therapists and athletic trainers can help you get back in the game.
These resources can help you learn more about elbow conditions: