Arm & Elbow Pain

Elbow injuries causing pain in the elbow and upper arm can be separated into:

Lateral elbow pain

Pain on the outside of the elbowPain on the outside of the elbow is known as lateral elbow pain. The most common cause is tennis elbow which is also known as lateral epicondylitis or extensor tendinopathy which is probably the most accurate term. Another common cause of pain on the outside of the elbow is referred pain from the neck or upper back caused by pressure on the nerves. Other causes include synovitis (or inflammation of the synovial sheath surrounding the joint) and radial tunnel syndrome or radial nerve entrapment.

Medial elbow pain

Medial elbow painPain on the inside of the elbow is known as medial elbow pain. The most common cause is golfer's elbow which is the same as tennis elbow only on the inside affecting the flexor tendons. A elbow ligament sprain on the inside of the elbow known as the medial collateral ligament can occur through trauma or with over use. Compression of the ulna nerve (hitting your funny bone) can be unpleasant and painful.  Other injuries we outline on the inside of the elbow include tendon strains, avulsion fractures and apohysitis which affects growing children.

Posterior elbow pain

Posterior elbow pain is pain at the back of the elbow. There is not much to go wrong at the back of the elbow but the most common causes are students elbow or bursitis, triceps tendon strain and impingment syndromes.

Acute elbow injuries

Acute elbow injuries are caused by a sudden impact or trauma such as a fall or from an impact in contact sports. They include fractures or broken bones, dislocations, contusions, ligament strains and muscle strains.

Upper arm pain

Common causes of upper arm pain include fractures and stress fractures of the humerus (upper arm bone), triceps muscle strains, contusions and myofascial pain from the sheath surrounding the muscle. Axillary nerve injury which is damage or compression of a nerve in the upper arm as well as myositis ossificans which is bone growth within the muscle following a contusion are also explained.

Forearm pain

Forearm pain can be caused by an acute injury to the radius or ulna (or both) which are the bones which make up the forearm. Stress fractures of these bones can also occur through repeated over use. Muscle compartment syndrome where the muscle grows too big for the sheath surrounding it and forearm splints are also explained.

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