While you may not give it much thought, the elbow is a very important joint. Without a healthy elbow, you would experience pain and mobility issues every time you used your arm. Unfortunately, the elbow can succumb to a variety of injuries and conditions, such as fractures, wear and tear injuries, and arthritis pain.
Although elbow pain can be frustrating, it is usually short-term and not a cause for concern. Sometimes, however, elbow pain can indicate a more serious or underlying condition that requires further investigation and treatment from a doctor.
The Elbow Joint
The elbow allows rotational movement and the ability to flex and extend your hand and forearm. It is a complex joint in which the humerus (upper arm bone) meets the ulna and the radius (the bones in the forearm) and forms a hinge joint. If the elbow joint gets damaged or injured, it can lead to symptoms such as pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, weakness, and can limit your range of motion.
Most of the time, a minor elbow injury requires rest and ice therapy. This is often enough to heal the internal damage and make your elbow feel good as new. However, many times, elbow pain doesn’t get better without treatment. It is advisable to seek a diagnosis and treatment from an orthopedic doctor if:
- Your elbow pain doesn’t improve, even with rest and ice therapy
- You experience pain when not using your arm
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the elbow gets worse over time
- You have a reduced range of motion in your elbow or arm
- Normal, everyday activities like lifting a cup or brushing your hair are causing pain or becoming increasingly difficult
Some symptoms can indicate a serious condition, such as a fracture or dislocated elbow, which requires urgent treatment. You should seek immediate medical treatment if you:
- Have intense pain, bruising, and swelling around the joint
- Notice an obvious deformity in your elbow
- Are unable to move your elbow
- Begin experiencing painful symptoms following an injury or fall
Treatment For Elbow Pain
Treatment for elbow pain depends on the cause. Many injuries and conditions respond to non-surgical treatments including activity restriction, rest, ice therapy, physical therapy, and medication. Simple fractures often only require casting or splinting. Some conditions, such as complex fractures, may require surgical intervention to align the bones for proper healing. Your doctor may also recommend surgery if non-surgical treatments do not provide relief. The only way to determine what treatment will bring you relief is seeking an accurate diagnosis from an orthopedic physician. If you experience any elbow pain that is disrupting your life, make an appointment with a physician to begin your journey to relief.
Elbow Pain Treatment in North Dakota
The expert physicians at The Bone & Joint Center have a wealth of experience diagnosing, treating, and preventing all types of musculoskeletal system diseases and injuries.
If you are experiencing elbow pain, we would love to help. We diagnose and treat a wide variety of elbow problems and specialize in all aspects of nonsurgical and surgical treatments. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650. You can also request an appointment online.