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Should I see a doctor about my elbow pain?

Most cases of elbow pain will get better on their own or with simple self-help treatments. You should see your doctor if:

  • your pain doesn’t improve with simple painkillers after 2 weeks and you haven’t had an injury or infection.
  • you have tingling, numbness or weakness in your arm or hand

You should visit your local A+E immediately 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 (although these symptoms can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis)
  • you think you’ve fractured your elbow – this will probably follow an obvious injury such as a hard impact or twisting of the arm (unless you have severe osteoporosis, when a fracture can occur following a minor knock), and you’ll have pain, swelling and deformity which keeps getting worse


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