Sports Elbow Injuries

Sports Elbow Injuries

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Do you play a racquet sport or golf? Are you involved in weightlifting, throwing, swimming or bodybuilding? Do you suffer from elbow pain during your sports activities or in everyday life?

If the answer is yes, you could have a sports injury of the elbow.

Sports Injuries of the Elbow Explained

In simple terms, overuse causes sports injuries of the elbow. Repetitive extension, strong biceps contractions or twisting and extending the wrist can cause injuries.

Some sports injuries of the elbow affect the extensor tendon on the outside of the elbow. Others affect the tendon on the inside of the elbow. In the case of posterior impingement, the cartilage and bone in the elbow become inflamed. Sometimes pieces of cartilage break loose and float in the joint, causing inflammation and pain.

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Do you have these symptoms?

Sports injuries of the elbow are usually painful and have some distinctive symptoms. If you recognise any of these, it’s important to seek treatment. Early intervention can save you from permanent damage.

  • Tenderness and pain when applying pressure to the outside
    of your elbow.
  • Pain when lifting a heavy object.
  • Pain when shaking hands or clenching your fist.
  • Sharp pains that radiate from your elbow down to your hand,
    or up your arm.
  • Weakness in your elbow and forearm.
  • Clicking or locking of your elbow (may be painful).
  • Pain or weakness when trying to grip objects.
  • Aching elbow when you’re resting or sleeping.
  • Pain when stretching out your fingers.
Common Elbow Conditions Caused by Playing Sport
Treatment of Sports Injuries of
the Elbow

Depending on the type of injury, non-surgical treatment may be tried first. These treatments may include:

  • Using anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Resting the injured elbow, especially in the case of repetition injuries.
  • Using a strap or splint to support and immobilise the injury site.
  • Physiotherapy treatments.
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce pain and swelling.

Some conditions such as a distal biceps rupture, need surgery without delay.

How much does your elbow pain actually affect you?

Take Adelaide Shoulder and Upper Limb Clinic's self-assessment and find out how it impacts your daily activities

Elbow pain can be caused from many different conditions. Here you will learn whether your elbow is relatively normal or if you really should seek medical advice. 

Elbow Surgery | Dr James McLean | Dr Oscar Brumby-Rendell | ASULC | Adelaide Shoulder & Upper Limb Clinic | Adelaide Orthopaedic Surgeons