When It's More Than Just Bumping Your Funny Bone
Many sports, hobbies and jobs require repetitive hand, wrist or arm movements, which can lead to overuse — the most common cause of elbow pain. This type of pain can be minor, causing simple achiness throughout the joint. But it can also be severe, damaging the nerves and leading to numbness, tingling, pain or an uncomfortable burning sensation.
Your elbow joint contains both a bursae sac to help with shock absorption, and tendons to support joint movement. Any type of overuse or irritation to the bursae or tendons will cause inflammation and discomfort known as bursitis or tendonitis. This type of pain is commonly referred to as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, depending on which tendon is affected. Rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy can help relieve strain on the affected area.
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Elbow dislocation commonly affects young children when their arm is forcefully pulled, or they fall on an outstretched hand. This is due to their tendons and ligaments still being very lax. If the bone pops out and doesn’t go back in, it can cause severe pain and requires immediate medical attention to reduce the risk of any joint, muscle or nerve damage.