Symptoms and Signs of Elbow Pain

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021

Doctor's Notes on Elbow Pain

Elbow pain describes any sharp, dull, burning, pressure, discomfort, or pain that can be sporadic, constant, or shooting due to a strain, sprain, fracture, dislocation, infection, autoimmune condition, cancertrauma or contusion to the structures in and adjacent to the elbow joint. There are many possible causes of elbow pain, such as:

Symptoms that may accompany elbow pain include using other joints to compensate for the loss of movement, which may result in discomfort or pain in other joints or muscles, such as the shoulder, wrist, forearm, or hand.

What Is the Treatment for Elbow Pain?

Treatments for elbow pain depend on the underlying cause and may include:

  • Immobilization or casting
  • Medications to control pain and reduce inflammation
  • Cold or ice pack application
  • Drainage or antibiotics if infection is present
  • Surgical repair of certain bone fractures
  • Physical therapy

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.