Why Does My Elbow Hurt?

Why Does My Elbow Hurt?

You may only realize how useful your elbows are once they are painful and you can’t lift, throw, or hug. Elbow pain may seem like a minor problem at first, but it quickly becomes obvious how this type of pain can limit your productivity. If you have elbow pain East Brunswick that doesn’t go away with rest and ice, it is best to seek medical help. Read on to learn about the common causes of elbow pain.


You can sustain an injury from one-off events like falling or bumping into an object while playing a sport. Common one-time injuries that may affect your elbows include:

  • Fractured elbow

A sudden and great blow can cause one of your arm bones to break at the elbow. Such injuries are common in car accidents or contact sports. A fractured elbow causes intense pain and needs prompt medical treatment. Even if you can move your elbow afterward, it is vital to seek treatment.

  • Dislocated elbow

You have a dislocated elbow when one of the bones forming your elbow gets knocked out of place. One of the most common causes of a dislocated elbow is when you use your hand to catch yourself during a fall. It can also happen to your toddler when you swing them by their forearms, called a nursemaid’s elbow. Call your doctor the right way if your child has a dislocated elbow.

  • Strains and sprains

Many people use these terms interchangeably, but a strain refers to a stretched or torn muscle, but when it’s a ligament, it’s a sprain. You can sprain your elbow ligaments when you exert too much pressure on your elbow muscles, like when you lift a heavy object. Athletes who play contact sports, use racquets, or throw are likely to suffer elbow sprains. Both strains and sprains improve with simple remedies like rest and ice. Once the pain is gone, you can practice stretching and strength exercises.


Elbow pain may also result from several diseases, but this is usually not the pain symptoms. Examples of conditions that may cause elbow pain include:

  • Arthritis

Different types of arthritis can affect your elbow, but the main ones include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, occurs when cartilage breaks down over time, allowing bones to rub together; this causes pain and stiffness. When the cartilage breakdown affects your elbow, you may experience discomfort. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system attacks healthy tissues in your body, causing swelling in the joints.

  • Gout

Gout is arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up as crystals in your tissues. Usually, uric acid needs to be excreted as it is a waste product. If uric acid crystals are formed in your elbow, it can be very painful.

  • Lupus

Lupus is another autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks healthy parts of your body, including organs and joints. The hands and feet are the most commonly affected parts, but this condition can also cause problems in your elbows.

If you have elbow pain, visit your provider at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates, LLP, for treatment to enjoy a pain-free life.

Martin Dupuis