Comprehensive Care for Elbow Pain

When you bend and/or straighten your elbow, do you feel any of the symptoms below?

  • General Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Stiffness

If so, you may be suffering from one of many elbow injuries.

When it comes to helping you discover and diagnose what type of elbow injury you have, EmergeOrtho Elbow and Arm Specialists are here to help.

There are many common causes of elbow pain. Some are caused by sudden injuries, others are caused by degenerative conditions and/or repetitive motions.

The elbow is one of the joints most prone to injury due to frequent stress and use. Fortunately, most causes of elbow pain are not serious. If, however, you are experiencing pain as the result of an injury, you should contact one of our skilled physicians for further examination,

With EmergeOrtho’s multidisciplinary approach, combining the latest medical advancements with unparalleled patient care, we help all patients Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.

An In-Depth Look at Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Some of the most common causes of elbow pain, swelling, tingling, and numbness include:

Elbow (Olecranon) Bursitis

The olecranon bursa is a thin, fluid-filled sac located at the pointy tip of the elbow (the olecranon). The olecranon bursa, like the many other bursae located throughout the body, acts as a cushion between the bone and soft tissue, allowing the soft tissue to easily glide over the bone.

The olecranon bursa is normally flat, but if it becomes irritated or inflamed, it fills with more fluid, and bursitis develops. There are several causes of elbow bursitis, including trauma, prolonged pressure, infection, or preexisting medical conditions.

Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Young woman in a pink polo and pink visor sits on the grass holding her elbow in pain next to her bike. This painful condition is the degeneration of the tendons in the forearm that join the muscles on the outside of the elbow. Tennis elbow is most often attributed to overuse, but it can occur without any known repetitive motions.

Pitcher’s Elbow (Medial Epicondyle Apophysitis)

Most commonly seen in adolescents whose bones have not stopped growing, it is characterized by inflammation and pain of the growth plate (apophysis) on the inner side of the elbow. This condition is most often attributed to overuse.


Osteoarthritis of the elbow occurs when the smooth cartilage covering the elbow wears away or is damaged, causing painful bone-on-bone rubbing. Osteoarthritis is almost always caused by wear and tear and is described as degenerative.

The elbow, however, is a different case.

The elbow joint is one of the least susceptible joints to arthritis due to its ability to tolerate large forces without becoming unstable. Therefore, if the elbow is experiencing osteoarthritis, it is most likely due to an existing injury or trauma.


When the elbow joint’s surfaces become separated, it is dislocated. Dislocations can be complete or partial, and are usually attributed to sudden trauma and/or injury. When an elbow dislocates, it can also damage the surrounding ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Similar to tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow is the inflammation of the tendons in the forearm that join the muscles on the inside of the elbow (tennis elbow involves the outside of the elbow). It is also commonly caused by overuse, but can occur with no known repetitive motions (in rare cases).

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment at the Elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)

This occurs when the ulnar nerve becomes irritated or compressed. The ulnar nerve is one of three main nerves in your arm that travel from your neck down to your hand. The exact cause of this is unknown, but it is thought to most often occur in the elbow due to the ulnar nerve having to travel through a narrow space with little soft tissue protection at this point in the body.

Get to the Bottom of Your Elbow Pain with EmergeOrtho

There are many common causes of elbow pain. To figure out which condition is causing your pain, visit the board-certified, fellowship-trained Elbow and Arm Doctors at EmergeOrtho.

Schedule an appointment now or call us to experience the EmergeOrtho difference.

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