The elbow consists of the elbow joint that connects three bones – the arm bone and two forearm bones. It functions as both hinge and pivot joint as it allows the arm to rotate, bend and extend. An injury in the elbow such as fracture can be very dangerous. If left untreated it could lead to complications and even disability.
Athletes are prone to this kind of injury especially to those who are into high-speed sports like biking, hockey, skateboarding; and contact sports such as football and wrestling. Recreational activities like mountain climbing, some work-related tasks and household chores or projects may pose high risks of elbow injury.
A fall or sudden twisting of the elbow may cause an acute injury. This may involve muscle strain, dislocation of the joint, muscle or tendon rupture, or bone fracture. Overdoing an activity or repetitive motion may stress the elbow joint resulting to an overuse injury. This type of injury includes bursitis, tendinosis and pinched nerve.
Bursitis, also called as popeye elbow, is the swelling behind the elbow. Tendinosis is an injury in the connective tissue in or around the tendon at a cellular level. When the pain is on the outside part of the elbow this is called tennis elbow, a common tendinopathy. It happens because of the overuse of the forearm muscle. Tennis player, swimmers and golfers are in high risk of this injury; and so are carpenters and plumbers. When a person suffers from soreness or pain in the inner part of the elbow, this is a symptom of a golfer’s elbow. Pinched nerve happens because of repetitive motion that causes pain, tingling or numbness.
The first aid treatment to reduce the pain and swelling caused by elbow injury is to use of rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) method. However, it is still best to see an orthopedic professional to better assess your condition for proper treatment. Untreated elbow injury can lead to a serious damage. Seeing a specialist gives proper diagnosis and provides the necessary treatment.