The elbow is a joint composed of three articulating bones, which are the distal end of the humerus, the head of the radius, and the ulna, which form the lower part of the arm. The biceps and triceps allow the joint to flex and extend. Using the biceps muscle and a muscle called the pronator teres muscle, the joint of the radius and muscle assists elbow rotation. There are two bony prominent parts of the humerus at the far, or distal, end of the humerus, called the medial and lateral epicondyles, which commonly cause pain because the tendons of the muscles that flex and extend the wrist are attached to the epicondyles. A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that cushions, and is found throughout the body, the tendons, ligaments and joints. The olecranon bursa is the most popular bursa, and the one most frequently causing swelling. Nerves going through the elbow joint may get stuck and cause nerve pain or loss of sensation and weakness in the hand. elbow pain physician is one of the authority sites on this topic.
Elbow pain may be the result of any damage to the joint or the underlying structures. The most common causes of elbow pain are epicondylitis, olecranon bursitis, nerve trapment and other-referred pain. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis that cause pain throughout the body can also affect the joint between the elbows.
Pain on Elbow’s Lateral Side
The lateral side of the elbow is the most frequent cause of pain. The lateral condyle of “tennis elbow” includes ligaments and tendons that are affected by wrist extension, repetitive use of forearm and wrist. Tennis or golf elbow patients tend to point to the lateral epicondyle as the source of the pain.
If the lateral pain affects the joint itself, it occurs on the part of the elbow which is more lateral to the epicondyle, and may be diffuse. It affects the range of elbow joint motion.
Elbow “referred” pain is characterized by vagueness, no pain with elbow movement and pain with neck or shoulder movement.
Elbow ‘s Dorsal Hand of Pain
High elbow pain may be due to nerve pain called the ulnar nerve as it passes through an elbow “tunnel.”
Medium elbow pain can also be easy to find on the medial epicondyle, like tennis and golf elbow, and is caused by wrist twisting, with lifting or repeated usage.
If the nerve (the ulnar nerve) causes pain it can radiate to the side of the hand where the fourth and fifth fingers are located.
Swells on the Elbow
When a patient has swelling, it is usually due to olecranon bursa inflammation, and it may be warm and swollen, which may suggest an injury to the skin, gout or elbow. If the patient is able to completely stretch and flex the elbow, this typically means no joint involvement.
Speed of motion decreased
This is typically caused by a joint injury and these patients will have swelling and discomfort but they are generally more concerned that their elbow can not be straightened. This may be attributed to synovitis, which is an inflammation of the joint ‘s lining called the synovium. This can also be due to rheumatoid arthritis which tends to damage the joints’ synovial membrane. Psoriasis, bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, gout or pseudogout, and septic arthritis, an infectious process, also cause it.
Referred to as discomfort
Problems with the rotator cuff tendon and cervical radiculopathy, or impingement on the nerves that pass through the spinal cord to the upper body, may cause elbow pain. It induces discomfort that is not changed by elbow movement, even without elbow swelling even tenderness.
Injury to the Elbow ligaments
Ligaments are strong tissue bands that bind bone to bone and result in elbow tension from throwing a baseball or other movements that cause acceleration of the elbow movements, creating tiny tears in the tendons that can eventually lead to lax ligament.
Rupture of Biceps Muscle’s Distal Tendon
The biceps tendon end attaches to the radius just below the elbow part which is part of the elbow joint. It is important to rotate the forearm, and it also helps with elbow flexion. This may be from raising or rotation of the elbow as it ruptures, and the patient may describe a sudden pain that is difficult to find and explain. The elbow bend can cause swelling. Doctors diagnose this by the tenderness on the elbow radius, with flexion pain and elbow rotation. Surgery is sometimes needed.
Various tests are used to diagnose problems with the elbow, including joint fluid aspiration, or x-rays with patients who have elbow trauma. There are also numerous elbow movement tests, often against resistance, which may help determine the source of pain via the elbow function.