Most elbow pain results from overuse injuries. Many sports, hobbies and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements. Elbow pain may occasionally be due to arthritis, but in general, your elbow joint is much less prone to wear-and-tear damage than are many other joints.
Common causes of elbow pain include:
- Broken arm
- Cubital tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the ulnar nerve on the inside of your elbow is irritated or injured
- Dislocated elbow
- Elbow fracture
- Golfer's elbow
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Little league elbow syndrome (pitcher's elbow) — an injury mainly affecting children and rapidly growing adolescents involved in throwing sports such as baseball
- Olecranon bursitis — inflammation of a small sac of fluid (olecranon bursa) on the tip of your elbow
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Radial tunnel syndrome, which occurs when the radial nerve becomes compressed just beyond your elbow (sometimes called resistant tennis elbow)
- Sprains and strains
- Stress fractures
- Tennis elbow
- Throwing injuries
- Trapped nerves
Apr. 09, 2013
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Anderson BC, et al. Evaluation of elbow pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
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- Bursitis and tendinitis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bursitis/. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 3, 2013.