Overuse Injuries Of The Elbow

January 23rd, 2020 Becki Andrus
Elbow Pain Doctor

Your elbow is located at a point in which three bones of your arms all join together. Your upper arm bone is referred to as the humerus, while the two bones of your forearm are referred to as the radius and the ulna. This creates a complex hinge joint that is responsible for the rotation of your forearm and wrist, along with the extension and flexion of your forearm and upper arm.

Your elbow also contains ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, which operate in coordination with each other to ensure that your elbow functions properly when you attempt to make these movements. This is also true for motion such as throwing, swinging, and lifting – all of which can occur when you are involved in a sporting activity.

Some unfortunate injuries of the elbow occur during a specific event such as a fall or an automobile accident. It is also possible to receive a strain or sprain by placing too much stress on the elbow from lifting a heavy object.

There are other occasions in which you will experience discomfort in your elbow as the result of overuse. If you repeat a particular motion and continue to do so without allowing the elbow joint an adequate amount of time to rest and heal, then you increase the risk of experiencing an overuse injury of the elbow.

Repetitive motion that eventually results in overuse can eventually cause the tissue to deteriorate. The process can also create inflammation, along with microtears in the ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The type of repetitive motion that places this excess of stress on your elbow often occurs during sports, and recreational activities, along with certain job tasks.

Overuse Injuries

Golfer’s elbow is a common injury that occurs through repeated clenching of the fingers or wrists. While this can develop through frequent golfing, the condition can also emerge with tennis players. It can also occur with anyone that is involved in sport-related activities that require a racket, or frequent throwing motion.

A common symptom of golfer’s elbow involves pain that progresses along the inner portion of your forearm or wrist. Other symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, or stiffness. These symptoms gradually intensify until steps are taken to treat the condition.

Tennis elbow is also referred to as lateral epicondylitis. It impacts the tendons that are attached to the forearm muscles outside of your elbow, and this issue occurs with greater frequency than any other elbow condition.

Tennis elbow develops through a recurrent motion that takes place during tennis, or other sports activities. However, it can also emerge through repetitive use in jobs such as plumbing, painting, and carpentry.

The symptoms of tennis elbow include pain in the wrist or forearm that increases whenever you attempt to make a fist, lift an item, open the door, shake someone’s hand, or grip an object.

Flexor Tendonitis is yet another condition that can result from repetitive motion. In this case, the issue involves a constant throwing motion that takes place with athletes such as baseball pitchers.

The continual motion of throwing can eventually lead to irritation and inflammation of the tendons that are located at the inner side of the elbow. This will result in pain that will be prominent in that area.

An Ulnar Collateral Ligament injury also occurs through the long-term impact of a repetitive throwing motion. Anyone who experiences this condition will encounter discomfort on the inside of the elbow. In some cases, the issue involves inflammation. in other situations, the repetitive motion will be sufficient to have caused a complete tear of the ligament.

When To Visit A Doctor

If you have attempted to reduce the discomfort of an injury that has resulted from overuse with ice, rest, or over-the-counter medications, but are still experiencing pain, then it is recommended that you visit a physician.

If you are dealing with pain in your elbow that is steadily increasing, it is also recommended that you visit a physician. This is also the case if you notice redness, swelling, or warmth around the elbow, or if you are unable to move your elbow as you normally would.

When you visit your doctor, he or she will engage in a series of questions. This will include a discussion of your symptoms, along with with your medical history, and the history of your immediate family. Your physician will also conduct a physical examination in order to determine the degree of strength, stability, and range of motion that currently exists with your elbow. It is possible that your doctor will also order imaging tests which could include x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.


In many cases, the treatment plan for an overuse injury of the elbow will involve rest. In some cases, physical therapy will be recommended in order to improve your strength and flexibility. Your physician might also prescribe anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen in order to reduce swelling and discomfort. There are also cases in which it is determined that surgery will be the best form of treatment. The specific type of surgery will be dependent upon each individual injury.

At Orthopedic Associates, We Are Here To Help

Whether you are dealing with pain in your elbow, believe that you are experiencing any of the symptoms of golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, or simply have any questions or concerns about this condition, the professionals at Orthopedic Associates are ready to provide you with the expertise that can only result from their 183 combined years of experience. This is beneficial in their ability to design effective treatment plans for any issues that might be occurring with your elbow  https://orthopedicassociates.org/body-parts/elbow/

Our specialists at Orthopedic Associates also treat a wide range of other elbow conditions, including:

  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
  • Elbow Bursitis
  • Growth Plate Injuries of the Elbow
  • Hyperextension Injury of the Elbow
  • Inflammation of the Biceps Tendon at the Elbow
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
  • Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injury
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Elbow
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Overuse Injuries of the Elbow
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome (Entrapment of the Radial Nerve)
  • Throwing Injuries of the Elbow
  • Triceps Tendonitis

Our orthopedic specialists are also highly experienced in performing multiple types of treatments and surgeries for the elbow including:

  • Absorbable Antibiotic Bead Treatment for Osteomyelitis
  • Anesthesia
  • Arthroscopic Debridement of the Elbow
  • Aspiration of the Olecranon Bursa
  • Cold Laser Therapy
  • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
  • Cubital Tunnel Release at the Elbow
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Medial Epicondylectomy
  • Medial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery)
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Ove
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scan
  • Radial Tunnel Release at the Elbow
  • Ulnar Nerve Transposition at the Elbow

We encourage you to visit one of our Orthopedic Associates two locations or request an appointment today and begin your path to a pain-free life.

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