Elbow pain

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Most elbow pain has a very simple cause and settles within a few days. Elbow pain is very common and will affect most people at some point in their lives. It is typically not serious.

Common causes of elbow pain are due to repetitive work or overuse of the tendons on the outside and inside of the elbow. This is known as tennis elbow or golfers elbow.

Tennis elbow is pain from the tendons on the outside of the elbow.

Golfer’s elbow is pain from tendons on the inside of the elbow.

Arthritis, acute injury or inflammatory conditions can also lead to elbow pain.

Pain and inflammation around the elbow can result in a loss of movement in the elbow. This may include not being able to fully straighten your elbow or being unable to turn the forearm and palm upwards.

For further information on managing this condition you can access these resources:

Elbow pain | Causes, exercise, treatments | Versus Arthritis

Most elbow problems can normally by managed by your GP, physiotherapist or with self-management strategies.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical help more urgently:

  • Stiffness with skin redness, swelling, acute pain over the elbow associated with a fever or general feeling of being unwell
  • Pain and difficulty moving your elbow after an injury
  • Severe pain and a snapping sensation in the front of your elbow when heavy lifting

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