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Who is at risk of elbow overuse injuries?

If you are an athlete, or if you work with your arms and hands, your elbows may be at risk for an overuse injury. This type of injury can be a problem for people who play sports such as tennis, golf, or baseball. Children also have a higher risk of elbow injury, because their bones are still growing.

What are the causes of elbow overuse injuries:

The elbow is a complex joint where three bones meet. When you do the same arm motion again and again, you can put a lot of stress on this joint. You can fracture a bone or damage the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones. You can stretch or tear the ligaments that stabilize the joint, or you can injure the tendons that anchor your muscles to the bones. These injuries can compress or irritate the nerves in your elbow and many of these injuries can be slow to heal.

Symptoms of elbow overuse injuries:

If you have an overuse injury, you may:

  • Have pain and swelling
  • Hear sounds such as clicking or popping when you move your elbow
  • Feel weakness, numbness or tingling

These symptoms can affect your arm and your hand.

Common Overuse Injuries to the Elbow:

1. Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a condition that causes pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow.

2. Golfer’s Elbow

Golfer’s Elbow is a condition that causes pain and inflammation on the inside of the elbow.
Little Leaguer’s Elbow is a condition that affects young baseball players who throw the ball repeatedly. Symptoms of this condition include inflammation and pain.

3. Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL)

Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injury is a condition that affects baseball pitchers, who repeatedly use their arm to throw a baseball. It is caused by overuse of the UCL and leads to pain and instability in the elbow joint.

4. Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Radial Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes pain and weakness in the forearm and hand. It is caused by compression of the radial nerve, which runs through the forearm and elbow.

If left untreated, overuse injuries to the elbow can lead to chronic pain and limited mobility in the joint, which can impact an individual’s ability to perform daily activities and participate in sports.

What are the treatment options for elbow overuse injuries:

Treatment options depend on your specific injury. Often, elbow injuries can be treated with rest, ice, medication and physical therapy. You may benefit from a brace or a cast. Be sure to get an evaluation by an experienced orthopedic specialist who can create a treatment plan that is right for your particular condition.

The animation content provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any specific questions you may have regarding a medical condition or procedure.