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Home » Anatomy » Inflammation of the Elbow Joint: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Inflammation of the Elbow Joint: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The elbow joint is a complex joint that allows us to bend and straighten our arms. It is made up of three bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), the radius (forearm bone on the thumb side), and the ulna (forearm bone on the pinky side). The elbow joint is also surrounded by tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Due to these number of structures there are the chances that there is a inflammation of the elbow joint.

Causes of Inflammation of the Elbow Joint

Inflammation of the elbow joint is a common condition that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Injury: A sudden or repetitive injury can cause swelling.
  • Overuse: Activities that put a lot of strain on the elbow joint, such as tennis, golf, and weightlifting, can also cause inflammation.
  • Infection: An infection in the elbow joint can also cause inflammation.
  • Autoimmune disease: In some cases, it can be caused by an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

The symptoms of inflammation

The symptoms of inflammation of the elbow joint can vary depending on the cause. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty moving the elbow
  • Tenderness
  • Redness

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment. The doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms, medical history, and activities that you participate in. They may also perform a physical exam and order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or MRI.


The treatment for inflammation of the elbow joint will vary depending on the cause. In some cases, the inflammation may go away on its own with rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. However, in other cases, more aggressive treatment may be necessary. This may include:

  • Ice: Applying ice to the elbow for 20 minutes at a time several times a day can help to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression: Wearing a compression sleeve or elastic bandage around the elbow can help to reduce swelling.
  • Rest: Avoiding activities that aggravate is important for allowing to heal.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe stronger medications, such as steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the elbow.
  • Surgery: In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged tissue or repair a torn ligament.

With proper treatment, most people make a full recovery. However, it is important to follow the doctor’s instructions and to be patient with the healing process.

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