Chronic elbow pain

Chronic elbow pain develops gradually over time. The athlete is unlikely to be able to pinpoint the exact time the injury occurred. Injuries can develop following an acute injury, which failed to heal properly. They are most common are golfers or tennis elbow where there is an injury to either the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the muscles / tendons that make your wrist flex or extend causing epicondylitis. This is where the group of flexor or extensor muscles inserts to the elbow and are common with sports requiring lifting or rackets and sticks.

Chronic elbow pain can also be due to the nerves where carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndromes occur due to compression or entrapment. Overuse and repetitive injuries can be from many sports or hobbies and are commonplace at the elbow due to loading issues. Injuries and conditions that cause this symptom are listed below:
  • Tennis Elbow

    Tennis Elbow

    Tennis Elbow is a general term used to describe outer elbow pain. The most common causes are inflammation or degeneration of the tendon of the wrist extensor muscles as they insert into the elbow. This can occur from sports, like tennis, and other activities that put stress on the elbow muscles. It is also known as lateral epicondylitis or extensor tendinopathy.

  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial Tunnel Syndrome

    Radial tunnel syndrome or radial nerve entrapment as it is sometimes called is when the radial nerve gets compressed or restricted in the tunnel it passes through. This elbow injury is more often caused by rotation of the wrist/lower arm rather than repetitive extension like tennis elbow, but the symptoms of both these injuries can be similar.

  • Golfer's Elbow

    Golfers Elbow

    Golfer's elbow or medial epicondylitis is an overuse injury similar to tennis elbow (on the outside of the arm) but causing pain on the inside of the elbow instead. The elbow injury usually comes on gradually over a period of time, rather than eing an acute pain. It is sometimes known as thrower's elbow or little league elbow. We explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment to return you back to full fitness in the shortest time.

  • Elbow Bursitis - Students Elbow

    Elbow Bursitis

    Elbow bursitis also known as Students elbow or Olecranon bursitis is the inflammation and swelling of the bursa which protects the end of the ulna bone at the back of the elbow. Repeatedly leaning on elbows (like many students do) can cause pain as the bursa can become inflamed. This elbow injury could also be caused by a direct impact. Read more on the symptoms, causes and treatements for this injury.

  • Triceps Tendon Inflammation

    Triceps Tendon Inflammation

    The triceps tendon at the back of the upper arm inserts into the elbow. Injury can occur to the tendon from sudden impact such as a fall or overuse. Tenderness and pain to the back of the elbow are main symptoms, which can be eased by rest and ice. See more about the symptoms and treatment of this injury.

  • Biceps Tendonitis

    Biceps Tendonitis

    Biceps tendonitis results in pain and inflammation of the biceps tendon as it inserts into the inside of the elbow. Inner elbow pain caused by the inflamed tendon may be exacerbated by certain activities like writing. Read more on what you can do to treat this elbow injury, from rest and ice to electrotherapy and rehabilitation exercises.

  • Osteochondritis Dissecans

    Osteochondritis Dissecans is a fragmentation of the cartilage and sometimes the underlying bone within a joint. This is common in adolescents as the ends of the bones are not yet fully hardened. This elbow injury can be caused and exacerbated by throwing sports, so resting from this activity can help to ease the pain. Read more on the symptoms, causes and treatments. 

  • Synovitis of the Elbow Joint

    Elbow Synovitis

    Synovitis of the elbow joint is inflammation of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint. Symptoms include elbow joint pain and redness over the area. However, Synovitis is itself ususally caused by another condition, including an injury to the joint or an illness like cancer. Because of this, Synovitis can indicate a serious problem so getting medical advice is essential.

  • Radiohumeral Bursitis

    Radiohumeral bursitis can also give similar symptoms to tennis elbow. This is inflammation of a bursa or small sack of fluid which sits between the tendon and the bone to help lubricate it. This elbow injury can be caused by a direct impact to the joint or arm, with some common symptoms being elbow pain, swelling and restricted movement.

  • Elbow Apophysitis

    Apophysitis is a condition affecting children and adolescents and is a crumbling of the bone at the point the tendon attaches to. It is similar to apophysitis in the knee (Osgood Schlatter disease) or at the back of the heel (Severs' disease). Apophysitis is usually something children will grow out of by the age of 16 or 17 although the condition does need to be managed properly with plenty of rest. Applying ice or cold therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  • Lateral Elbow Pain

    The most common term for pain on the outside of the elbow is Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis). However, there are a number of other causes of lateral elbow pain which should be considered as well as acute elbow injuries such as ligament sprains and fractures. Other potential causes of pain on the outside of the elbow include referred pain, radial tunnel syndrome, synovitis, bursitis and osteochondritis dissecans.

  • Medial Elbow Pain

    A medial elbow is a pain on the inside of the elbow. It usually comes on gradually through overuse but can also be an acute injury, especially when throwing. Golfer's elbow or throwers elbow is probably the most common name given to pain on the inside of the elbow and refers to inflammation or degeneration of the flexor tendon. Other causes include sprains (ligament tears), nerve compression, avulsion fractures apophysitis and pain referred from the upper back or shoulder.