You may only appreciate your elbow function once you can’t lift, throw, swing, or hug, for starters, due to elbow pain. And that means many other things can go wrong when your elbow hurts. There are several causes of elbow pain Leawood, but the most common ones include:
Injuries are usually one-off events that occur when you fall or get hit hard when playing a sport. Some elbow injuries include:
- Elbow dislocation. A dislocated elbow occurs when one of the bones forming the elbow gets knocked out of place. It mostly happens when you hand out to catch yourself during a fall. You can dislocate your toddler’s elbow when you swing them by their forearms; this is called a nursemaid’s elbow. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child has a dislocated elbow.
- Sprains and strains. These injuries occur suddenly and unexpectedly. A strain occurs when the muscles stretch or are torn, but when ligaments are affected, it is a sprain. You can strain your elbow muscles when lifting heavy objects or overdoing them with sports. Athletes who throw, use racquets or play contact sports are more likely to sprain their elbows. Usually, sprains and strains improve with rest, ice, and over–the–counter painkillers. You can engage in stretching and strength exercises once the pain is gone.
- Fractures. A fracture is typically a break in bone continuity. You can fracture any bone in your body, including your arm bones. A fractured elbow occurs if one of your arm bones break at the elbow. Often, this results from a sudden blow during a car accident or in a contact sport. Even if you can move your elbow afterward, you will need medical attention.
Elbow pain can also be due to several diseases, but this is usually not the main symptom. For example, you will likely experience elbow pain if you have arthritis. Many forms of arthritis can affect your elbow, but the main ones include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Elbow pain is more common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than in other forms of arthritis. In individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, their immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues instead of invaders like bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, osteoarthritis occurs when your joint cartilage breaks down gradually, causing the bones to rub together; this results in pain and stiffness.
Your elbow may also hurt as a result of other diseases, such as:
- Gout. An arthritis form that occurs when uric acid crystals build up in your tissues instead of being sent out of your body as a waste product. The buildup can happen in your elbow, causing severe pain.
- Lupus. This is an autoimmune illness whereby your body’s defense system attacks healthy parts, including your organs and joints. The hands and feet are the most commonly affected areas, but lupus can also cause problems in your elbow.
If your elbow pain does not go away with rest and ice, visit your doctor at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance for treatment to alleviate pain and improve your elbow function.