Skip navigation
9

Common elbow injuries

  • Arm & Elbow4% of every 1,000 people will suffer from tennis elbow at some stage
  • Tennis elbow typically affects those between the ages of 35 and 54
  • Tennis elbow affects the lateral (outside) side of the elbow whilst golfers elbow affects the medial (inside)

The elbow joint is an area of the body which is used extensively and at some stage we are all likely to experience an injury from overuse, a trauma related condition or simply from banging your funny bone.

The joint is constructed from cartilage, bone, ligaments and fluid with the surrounding muscles and tendons responsible for mobility.

Swelling

Following a fall or a knock of the elbow joint you may experience swelling which can impact on overall mobility. This form of injury is typically self-limiting in that following a period of rest with the use of ice to help manage inflammation you should be back to full fitness after a few days. During this period you may also opt to wear a compressive elbow skin to help manage inflammation on the move.

Overuse

Overuse injuries are common throughout the body, whereby we have pushed ourselves beyond our normal limits and the body needs time to recover. Repetitive activities involving the elbow such as playing tennis or golf can lead to such overuse injuries, resulting in inflammation, pain and discomfort.

In the event that the symptoms persist after a few days of rest then you should seek a professional diagnosis as you may be suffering from tennis elbow or golfers elbow. These conditions are largely self-limiting however it can take up to 2 years to fully recover, which is why many people wear a tennis elbow band to apply compression to the affected region when active.

Strains

When you push yourself too far there is an increased risk of a strain where the muscles become stretched beyond their normal range of motion, becoming inflamed as a result which can also be painful.

Strains in the forearm can affect the biceps, triceps and forearm flexors and extensors within the elbow. Treatment and rehabilitation is dependent on the nature of the injury, with a torn bicep sometimes requiring surgery to remedy.

Fractures

Fractures to the elbow occur as a result of trauma following a fall and more common amongst the older generation, with younger people typically seeing dislocation following trauma.

Ultimately treatment is determined by the condition and its severity, therefore a professional diagnosis is essential to ensure that an effective treatment programme can be devised.