Current Page> ELBOW > Elbow Pain and Problems | Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's and Baseball Elbow)| Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) | Cubital Tunnel Syndrome |

Elbow Pain and Problems

The elbow is a hinge joint between the lower end of the humerus bone in the upper arm and the upper end of the radius and ulnar bones in the lower arm. elbowThe arm is bent and rotated at the elbow by the biceps muscles in the upper arm. Ligaments located at the front, back, and sides of the elbow help stabilize the joint.

Common elbow problems include the following:

  • arthritis
    Common forms of arthritis that can affect the elbow include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious arthritis.

  • bursitis
    Bursitis of the elbow, also called olecranon bursitis, occurs as a result of injury or constant pressure on the elbow (for example, when leaning on a hard surface).

  • fractures
    Falling on an outstretched hand or directly on the tip of the elbow can result in dislocation and/or several types of fractures, depending on the fall.

  • injury
    Repetitive strain on the elbow can cause inflammation.

    Medial Epicondylitis
    (Golfer's and Baseball Elbow)

    What is medial epicondylitis?golfer

    Medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer's elbow, baseball elbow, suitcase elbow, or forehand tennis elbow, is characterized by pain from the elbow to the wrist on the palm side of the forearm. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist toward the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.

    What causes medial epicondylitis?

    Medial epicondylitis is caused by the excessive force used to bend the wrist toward the palm, such as swinging a golf club or pitching a baseball. Other possible causes of medial epicondylitis include the following:

    • serving with great force in tennis or using a spin serve
    • weak shoulder and wrist muscles
    • using a too tightly strung, too short, and/or too heavy tennis racket
    • throwing a javelin
    • carrying a heavy suitcase
    • chopping wood with an ax
    • operating a chain saw
    • frequent use of other hand tools on a continuous basis
    What are the symptoms of medial epicondylitis?

    The following are the most common symptoms of medial epicondylitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

    The most common symptom of medial epicondylitis is pain along the palm side of the forearm, from the elbow to the wrist, on the same side as the little finger. The pain can be felt when bending the wrist toward the palm against resistance, or when squeezing a rubber ball.

    The symptoms of medial epicondylitis may resemble other medical problems or conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

    How is medial epicondylitis diagnosed?

    The diagnosis of medial epicondylitis usually can be made based on a physical examination. The physician may rest the arm on a table, palm side up, and ask the patient to raise the hand by bending the wrist against resistance. If a person has medial epicondylitis, pain usually is felt in the elbow.

 

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

What is lateral epicondylitis?tennis elbow

Lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow, is characterized by pain in the back side of the elbow and forearm, along the thumb side when the arm is alongside the body with the thumb turned away. The pain is caused by damage to the tendons that bend the wrist backward away from the palm. A tendon is a tough cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.

What causes tennis elbow?

Tennis elbow, as the name implies, often is caused by the force of the tennis racket hitting balls in the backhand position. The forearm muscles, which attach to the outside of the elbow, may become sore from excessive strain. When making a backhand stroke in tennis, the tendons that roll over the end of the elbow can become damaged. Tennis elbow may be caused by the following:

  • improper backhand stroke
  • weak shoulder and wrist muscles
  • using a too tightly strung or too short tennis racket
  • hitting the ball off center on the racket or hitting heavy, wet balls
  • painting with a brush or roller
  • operating a chain saw
  • frequent use of other hand tools on a continuous basis
What are the symptoms of tennis elbow?

The following are the most common symptoms of tennis elbow. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

Initially, the pain may be felt along the outside of the forearm and elbow. The pain may increase down to the wrist, even at rest, if the person continues the activity that causes the condition. Pain may also persist when the arm and hand are placed palm-down on a table and the person tries to raise the hand against resistance.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

What is cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome feels similar to the pain that ocCubital Tunnel Syndromecurs from hitting the "funny" bone in your elbow. The "funny" bone in the elbow is actually the ulnar nerve, a nerve that crosses the elbow (the ulnar nerve begins in the side of the neck and ends in the fingers).

What causes cubital tunnel syndrome?

Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve, which passes through the cubital tunnel (a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone) on the inside of the elbow, becomes irritated due to injury or pressure. The condition may occur when a person frequently bends the elbows (such as when pulling, reaching, or lifting), constantly leans on the elbow, or sustains a direct injury to the area.

What are the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome?
The following are the most common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
  • numbness in the hand and/or ring and little finger
  • hand pain
  • hand and thumb clumsiness due to muscle weakness

The symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may resemble other medical conditions or problems, including medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow). Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

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