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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Elbow pain

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How does the elbow work?

The elbow is a hinge joint, which allows you to bend your arm. Parts of the bone that make up the joint are attached to the muscles which control your wrist and finger movement. Read more >

What causes elbow pain?

Elbow pain can be caused by a simple strain, but it can also be the result of a number of different conditions. Read more >

Should I see a doctor about my elbow pain?

You should see your doctor if:
  • you have an infection in your elbow joint – symptoms may include severe pain that makes you unable to move your arm, swelling, fever, heat and redness
  • you think you’ve fractured your elbow – you’ll have pain, swelling and deformity which keeps getting worse
  • your pain doesn’t improve with simple painkillers and you haven’t had an injury or infection
  • you have tingling, numbness or weakness in your arm or little finger
Read more >

What can I do to help myself when I have elbow pain?

Try the following tips to help ease your symptoms:
  • adapt your movements
  • take painkillers
  • wear splints 
  • use heat/ice packs
  • exercise
Read more >

How are elbow problems diagnosed?

Most elbow problems can be diagnosed after a simple examination, although your doctor may occasionally suggest you have an x-ray or other tests. Read more >

Specific elbow conditions

Specific causes of elbow pain can include:
  • repetitive strain injuries (e.g. tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and olecranon bursitis
  • compression/entrapment syndromes (e.g. cubital tunnel syndrome and radial tunnel syndrome)
  • distal biceps rupture
Read more >

What treatments are there for elbow pain?

If simple self-help methods don't ease your elbow pain, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:

Elbow problems are common but they’re not usually caused by arthritis and they generally improve in a relatively short time and with simple treatments. In most cases you won’t even need to see your doctor.

Read more >

Research and new developments for elbow pain

Arthritis Research UK is currently funding a study that will hopefully lead to new treatments for elbow pain. Read more >

Exercises to manage tennis elbow

Simple exercises to help ease the symptoms of tennis elbow and prevent future injury. Read more >
For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information or call 0300 790 0400 to order the complete printed booklet.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.