The elbow is a complex joint that allows for a ride range of motions for the forearm and hand. Because the elbow is responsible for so many different movements, it can be difficult to pinpoint which one causes pain. Unlike other joints in the body, elbow pain is not commonly caused by wear-and-tear damage.

What is Elbow Pain?

The elbow is a joint formed where 3 bones merge together – the upper arm bone (humerus), and the 2 bones that make up your forearm (the ulna and the radius). Each bone has cartilage on the end to help with motion and to absorb shock. This is all held in place by ligaments. If anything happens to any of these components, it can cause elbow pain.

Elbow Pain Causes

Elbow pain is most often caused by injury, but here are some specific common causes:

  • Injuries
  • Overuse, causing conditions such as tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Sprain
  • Strain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis

Elbow Pain Symptoms

If you notice any of the follow symptoms near or in your elbow, it may be time to visit a doctor:

  • Numbness or tingling, similar to a “funny bone” sensation
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness in the forearm
  • Increasing pain when grasping or clenching the hand
  • Difficulty moving the forearm

Elbow Pain Risks

  • Age – those over the age of 40 are at a higher risk
  • If you have a history of tendon injuries
  • Improper technique when performing certain movements
  • Frequently participating in an activity with repetitive elbow motion