Pacifica Orthopedics, Huntington Beach, California.

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Common elbow injuries


Elbow injuries are caused by a variety of factors ranging from traumatic impact on the elbow, overuse of the elbow from repetitive actions, to valgus stress. It is important to have your elbow checked at the onset of discomforts or pains because issues like traumatic injuries may easily degenerate to acute or chronic conditions. It is important to identify the exact cause of the injury for the patient to avoid re-injury.

Elbow injuries usually affect the tendons attached to the epicondyles or funny bone. These injuries occur due to overusing the arm muscles through a number of activities such as snapping, rolling, or twisting the forearm. Such activities may cause inflammations or tiny tendon tears. Some good examples include tennis elbow which is characterized by pain on the outer or lateral sections of the elbow, the golfer’s elbow which is indicated by pain on the medial or inner side, and ulnar nerve injuries caused by repetitively bending the elbow causing swelling of the nerve or in some cases trapping the nerve within its bonny tunnel. This is mainly a result of repetitively bending the elbow.

Elbow injuries commonly affect manual workers, athletes or sports persons, and people whose occupational activities require frequent and dexterous use of hands. Common signs of elbow injuries include pain that radiates from the wrist to the shoulder and sometimes up to the neck. Like other musculoskeletal injuries, an elbow injury may represent a severe limitation to performance of daily activities requiring the use of hands and for those involved in sports the injury may cause a significant impediment to their careers. For example a pitcher or a tennis player who suffers an elbow injury may become unable to regain previous levels of performance even after the injury heals if not properly treated. In as much as elbow injuries are not life threatening, their importance especially for athletes should not be downplayed. Consulting an orthopedic doctor will be important at the onset of elbow pains.

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