Elbow pain is often caused by overuse. 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
- Bursitis (joint inflammation)
- Dislocated elbow
- Golfer's elbow
- Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
- Stress fractures
- Tennis elbow
- Throwing injuries
- Trapped nerves
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
March 27, 2021
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- Kane SF, et al. Evaluation of elbow pain in adults. American Family Physician. 2014;89:649.
- Anderson BC, et al. Evaluation of elbow pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 16, 2016.
- Pitzer ME, et al. Elbow tendinopathy. Medical Clinics of North America. 2014; 98:833.
- Sprains, strains and other soft tissue injuries. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00111. Accessed Jan. 16, 2016.