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Elbow Pain

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Causes of Elbow Pain and Treatment Options

The elbow is a joint that is comprised of three bones. These bones meet in the middle of the arm. Together, the bones function as a hinge that helps to move the arm. Along with the bones of the elbow, there are two major muscles that also help to move the arm: the biceps and the triceps.

Elbow pain can be caused from a variety of different circumstances, but there’s good news! The chiropractors at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, have some helpful tips to assist with your elbow pain.

woman holding painful elbow


Elbow pain can be caused by a number of things – certain types of injury, repetitive stress, and other conditions as follows:

Common Elbow Injuries

When there’s an injury to the hand, wrist, arm, elbow or shoulder, elbow pain can result.  As noted, the elbow is made up of a number of bones and muscles.  These muscles are connected to other parts of the body, so if they experience an injury, it is not uncommon for a patient to experience elbow pain.The bones of the elbow can break.  Usually, this occurs as the result of a fall or other type of accident.


Repetitive stress injuries are a common cause of elbow pain. If your job requires you to use your arms in the same movement over and over again (this could be something as simple as typing, or something as strenuous as chopping wood), the muscles and tendons can experience strain or sprain.As well, if you participate in sports that make regular use of the elbow, such as tennis or golf, strains or sprains can occur.


Here are some other conditions that can contribute to pain in the elbows:


man holding tennis racket wearing elbow brace

You’ve probably heard the term ‘tennis elbow’ before.  Tennis elbow is actually a condition called tendonitis.  Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons that help work the bones and muscles of our body.   If tendons are over worked or injured, the condition of tendonitis is the result.

Olecranon Bursitis

woman holding painful elbow

Olecranon bursitis is a condition where the bursa at the tip of the elbow become inflamed. Bursa are small sacs of fluid that help cushion the joints. If they become inflamed, it can be very painful any time the joint they surround is used.


person with inflamed elbow

Cellulitis is a skin infection that occurs as the result of an abrasion to the skin. The bacteria from cellulitis can invade the bursa of the elbow, resulting in pain and inflammation.

bone tumors

xray of an elbow

Bone tumors can occur in the bones of the elbow.  While this is rare, it can occur, and of course the result will be pain in the elbow if the tumor impacts the way the elbow works.

other elbow conditions


Arthritis can cause inflammation of almost every joint in the body including the elbow joint.

septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is a condition that develops when there is an infection within a joint. Germs from other parts of the body can invade the joint space.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

The ulnar nerve is the nerve that is commonly referred to as ‘the funny bone’. It travels between the tip of the elbow and the inner elbow bone. If the ulnar nerve becomes pinched, it is referred to as ‘nerve entrapment’. This most commonly occurs after an injury or from repetitive stress. Along with pain, this condition can cause numbness and tingling.

who is at risk of elbow pain?

People who perform repetitive tasks such as work functions or sports are at a higher risk of developing elbow pain due to the fact that the bones and muscles within the elbow will be subject to repeated movements.

As well, people who suffer from certain other conditions such as arthritis or tendonitis may develop elbow pain as a result of the condition.If you perform repetitive tasks, it’s wise to invest in a good elbow brace or splint to help the muscles do the work of the elbow.

what are the symptoms of elbow pain?

The most common symptoms of elbow pain include tenderness and pain in the bony area on the outside of the elbow. This area is where bones and tendons connect.

Pain can radiate up or down the arm and will be most noticeable during the following activities:

  • Lifting
  • Gripping
  • Making a fist
  • Opening a door
  • Shaking someone’s hand
  • Raising the arm
  • Straightening the wrist

at home treatments for elbow pain.

At home treatments for elbow pain can include the following:

woman stretching her elbow

stretching and ROM (range of motion) exercises

Performing stretching and ROM (range of motion) exercises to keep the arm limber and flexible can assist with elbow pain.

man wearing elbow brace

elbow strap or brace

Using an elbow strap or brace when performing any actions that require the use of the affected arm

man holding ice pack on elbow

icing the elbow

Icing the area for twenty minute at a time, 3 – 4 times a day, to reduce pain and swelling

The Vancouver chiropractors at Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage will provide you with a list of at-home treatments that will help expedite your recovery time and provide relief for your elbow pain.

chiropractic and physical therapy for elbow pain

Chiropractic therapy is an excellent choice for people suffering from elbow pain. It can help promote healing and also restore strength to the elbow and arm without the use of medications or surgery.

At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we use a combination of myofascial release, Graston, ART, rehabilitation exercises, joint manipulation, and mobilization to help restore your elbow joint to good working condition, all without the use of dangerous drugs.

If you suffer from elbow pain, why not give us a call? We’ll book an appointment for you to come into our Vancouver chiropractic clinic and talk to one of our Chiropractors about how we can ease your symptoms.


For some people, at home treatment isn’t enough to reduce their symptoms of elbow pain. Although we always take the natural approach to healing any type of pain your body may be experiencing, one or more of the following treatments in combination with home treatment may be helpful:

Prescription Medications

As noted above, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be prescribed at a higher dose the over the counter versions.

Steroid Injections

Cortisone injections can help to ease pain and inflammation and can last for up to three months.


At Broadway AT Yew Chiropractic & Massage, our Vancouver chiropractors treated several patients for elbow pain. If you’re experiencing elbow pain that just won’t seem to go away, call our chiropractors today with any questions you may have, and they’ll be happy to assist you!

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