Pain in the elbow joint: causes and treatment

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечениеJoints — the unique nature of the invention, enabling the movement of the body and its movement in space. The structure of the joints as simple, so brilliant. When the joints are sick or damaged, it instantly affects a person’s life. For example, severe pain in the elbow joint can be permanently deprived of the opportunity fully to exercise, to work and lead a normal life.

If the sore elbow joints, the reasons can be different, have different nature and pathogenesis. Pain in the elbow is often the result of impaired functioning of the joint itself. You can select these types of dysfunction of the elbow joints:

  • developmental pathology or dysplasia (chondrodysplasia, arthrogryposis);
  • injuries (contusions, wounds, fractures, dislocations);
  • diseases (bursitis, agrosteomela, tuberculosis, rheumatism, etc.).

Exploring pathology of the functioning of the elbow joints, we should say a few words about the structure of the joint itself.

The structure of the elbow joint

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечение

What bones form the elbow

It is a mechanism, consisting of the United bones of the arm and forearm. The elbow consists of three joints: placelocation, brachioradialis and proximal radioulnar.

All these three joints provide the following types of mobility the bony elements of the elbow: rotation (supination), flexion, extension, and depreciation (Michaud). All of the above the movable connection of the ends of the bones entering into the composition of the elbow, have a single articular bag.

He elbow joint mechanism includes front and rear cavity (chamber) that communicate among themselves. The points of contact between the tendons of the shoulder joint and elbow are bags with synovial fluid.


Pathology and malformation of the elbow joints (dysplasia) occur infrequently. These include, in particular, this congenital pathology of the musculoskeletal system as arthrogryposis syndrome, manifested by multiple joint contractures (limitation of normal range of motion) due to underdevelopment of muscles.

In addition, congenital dysplasia of the elbow joints are also chondrodysplasia (pathology development of cartilage), forearm deviation from physiologically normal position, synostosis bones (bone fusion of the articular bones), ankylosis (complete lack of movement due to the fusion of the articular ends of the bones solenaya) and the presence of additional bones.

All of the above dysplasia elbow joints restrict the scope and amplitude of joint movements, pain in the elbow joint and disruption of the articular functions.

Diagnosis of defects and pathologies of the elbow joints includes x-rays and other methods of examination. Therapeutic methods to treat dysplasia are complex and depend on the severity. They usually include medication effects, surgical therapy and physiotherapy.

In addition to congenital dysplasia, pain in the elbow lead to mechanical trauma and various injuries of the elbow.

Injuries to the elbow and their consequences

Elbow injuries often occur in athletes involved in such sports like strength training with weights, javelin, tennis sports. Often the elbow injuries lead to bleeding into the surrounding tissues and elements of the joint: the articular cavity and the bag. Such hematomas can cause pain in the elbow, contracture, or ankylosis.

Possible the onset and progression of neuritis of the nerve shoulder, wearing a traumatic nature, in the case of mechanical trauma to the back inner side of the elbow joint. While there are pain radiating to the ring finger and little finger of the hand. You may experience trauma, rupture of ligaments, the joint capsule and bleeding during too intensive extension of the elbow when you perform sports tasks and training.

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Therapy of injuries and trauma is performed by fixing the joint in physiologically the middle position by plaster cast for 3-5 days. Further recommended exercises in a warm (36° C) water and gymnastic exercises therapeutic in nature. In the case of severe injury resulting in complete rupture of the inner capsular-ligamentous articular mechanism, shown immobilization within 21-28 days. Possible surgical intervention.

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечение

Ligaments that hold the joint of the elbow

For example, for removal of blood clots by the pronounced articular hematoma, due to which the sore elbow joints, it is necessary to conduct the puncture.


Injury of the elbow joint in the form of dislocation often occurs in case of a fall on the joint, when the arm is in the extended position. This often occurs posterior dislocation of the bones of the forearm. During stretching for the forearm in children of 3-4 years may be a subluxation of the upper part of the radius (head), symptoms of which manifested a decrease of mobility of the elbow joint and sharp pain.

It should be noted that if the aching joints due to sprain, the x-ray remains unchanged. Often a combination of dislocation of the upper part of the radius with a fracture of the ulna in the middle or in the upper third. Such injuries or damages are manifested by swelling, lack of rotation and attenuation of the forearm, local soreness. Diagnosed a dislocated elbow with the help of radiographs.

Treatment this kind of injury is immobilization. Further treatment is carried out in a medical facility by repositioning the bones of the hands of an expert surgeon or by surgery if necessary.

Operative therapy is indicated in the injury of the bones of the elbow in fractures.


Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечениеThe emergence of significant pain in the right or left elbow in the presence of swelling and increasing swelling, restriction of mobility and tenderness in the elbow joints of the hands may indicate a fracture of the lower part of the bone of the shoulder. Possible fractures of the other components of elbow joint (neck and head bones of the elbow, the coronoid processes and ulna). Diagnosed such injuries of the elbow joints of the hands x-ray method. Then applied conservative therapies which aim to treat joint and to recover its functions fully.

The doctor carries out a mapping damaged elements of the bone and applying a cast, that is, «collects» the bone in parts. In case of impossibility of correctly matching bone pieces performed surgery, during which mounted the bone, fixing it in a functionally correct position. In order to restore the normal functioning of the elbow as the left hand and the right hand should, according to the doctor’s appointments, conduct appropriate exercises in warm water, gym workout medical. After 2.5-3 months should gradually restore passive mobility of the joint of the elbow, and six months later you can hold the massage and mud treatment.

It should be noted that too early and improper development of the elbow leads to complications and prolonged period of rehabilitation.

In addition to these traumatic injuries of the elbow, as bruises, fractures and dislocations, there are still a number of injuries of the ulnar joints of the hands, which are the most severe. This open lesions, accompanied by pain and bleeding.

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Open injuries of the elbow

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечениеDamage to the elbow this kind arise mainly because of the open-through and closed wounds, including gunshot wounds. Wound damage of the elbow joint are divided into such types as:

  • end-to-end;
  • blind;
  • penetrating (takes place of damage to the joint capsule);
  • non-penetrating;
  • with minor damages;
  • with significant injuries to tissue, bone fragmentation.

Injuries of this kind are often accompanied by significant bleeding and shock. What to do if there is a wound in the elbow? In this case, the injured need first aid the following: immobilize the elbow, to tamponade the wound, apply a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, give pain medication. Further treatment is carried out quickly in the hospital.

It should be noted that pain in the right or the pain in the left elbow joint can be cause not only mechanical and innate damage and injuries, but occur due to various diseases.

Diseases of elbow joints

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечениеIf it hurts a joint, this may be due not only to a particular injury, but a common disease, particularly rheumatism or tuberculosis. To understand why a sore elbow, is possible only after passing the necessary examinations and diagnostics. So to answer the question of why sore elbow joints, is possible only when referring to the doctor who will identify the causes of the disease and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Pain in elbow joint treatment, of course, will depend on the type of disease and its severity. Therefore, if pain in joint of elbow, you should contact the medical facility as soon as possible.

It should be noted that if a sore elbow due to common diseases (rheumatism, tuberculosis), in this case, the treatment will include addressing the causes and consequences of the underlying disease. Mandatory local treatment, whose goal is the restoration of normal operating volume of the elbow.

In the case of long and lasting injury of the elbow joints in professional sports and manufacturing activity occurs such diseases as bursitis, in which intensely hurt your elbow joints.

Bursitis is a articulate disease, accompanied by inflammation localized in the synovial pouch of the bony process of the elbow. Bursitis often occurs as a consequence of mechanical injury, after a long monotonous load, after training, communicable diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea, for example), tuberculosis, influenza, brucellosis, etc. Thus, the causes of bursitis are mechanical and infectious nature.

Bursitis is manifested generally in two forms: chronic and acute. If bursitis is acute, the pain is localized in the region of the articular bags, the elbow has a moderately limited mobility.

Bursitis chronic forms mostly occur in people who are working with activities related to regular mechanical irritation and effects on the joint capsule. In this case, sore elbow joints during exercise and long after.

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Hospital treatment shall be purulent and chronic forms of bursitis. Therapy using UHF-therapy, dressings, pressure, and by immobilization. Prevention of all forms of this joint disease is accomplished by eliminating any kind of injury to joint bursas of the elbow.

Боль в локтевом в суставе: причины и лечениеIn addition to disease bursitis expressed discomfort and pain in the elbow can be a manifestation of acroosteolysis, or so-called syndrome of «tennis elbow». The reason for the emergence and development of acroosteolysis is the result of a significant force on the elbow due to occupational or athletic activities that led to the fact that the patient periodically sore elbow joints. If acroosteolysis amazed epicondyles of the upper arm (epicondylitis). This disease of the elbow joint accompanied by the presence of sharp pain while performing operations or conducting training. Therapeutic correction of acroosteolysis such therapy of bursitis and is aimed at addressing the causes of the disease. It is the impact of ultrasound, the use of analgesics and other tools, pain, treatment, heat treatment or cryotherapy, immobilization of the joint, massage.

It should be noted that articulate a common disease like osteoarthritis rarely affects the elbow joints. However, abnormalities of the cartilage of the elbow joint when osteoarthritis is accompanied by pain, limitation of motion of the articular mechanism until the ankylosis and contracture depending on the stage of arthrosis. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the elbow joints, as any other articular diseases, primarily conducted by x-ray methods. Therapy, of course, complex, and aimed at the removal of pain, unlocking the joint and the full restoration of physiological volume of joint movements.

The main emphasis in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the elbows, modern medicine is medication that relieves the inflammation and pain and regenerating cartilage tissue. Of course, in addition to medicines, the necessary physiotherapy, relaxing the joint and restore its full blood supply and innervation, such as massage, heat therapy, mud applications. In the treatment of osteoarthritis of the elbow can not do without the healing of physical education, aimed at improving the circulation of the joint and giving the required minimum movement.

Mostly it physical therapy exercises for a long time produce the most lasting effect in the fight against osteoarthritis. However, it must be said that joint diseases are often chronic and the patient has a lifetime to control and maintain your joints in working condition with the help of various treatment methods.