Elbow Pain - Describe Your Experience

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How is the elbow designed, and what is its function?

The elbow is the joint where three long bones meet in the middle portion of the arm. The bone of the upper arm (humerus) meets the inner bone of the forearm (ulna) and the outer bone of the forearm (radius) to form a hinge joint. The radius and ulna also meet in the elbow to allow for rotation of the forearm. The elbow functions to move the arm like a hinge (forward and backward) and in rotation (twisting outward and inward). The biceps muscle is the major muscle that flexes the elbow hinge. The triceps muscle is the major muscle that extends the elbow hinge. The outer bone of the elbow is referred to as the lateral epicondyle and is a part of the humerus bone. Tendons are attached to this area which can be injured, causing inflammation or tendinitis (lateral epicondylitis, or "tennis elbow"). The inner portion of the elbow is a bony prominence called the medial epicondyle. Additional tendons from the muscles attach here and can be injured, causing medial epicondylitis, "golfer's elbow." A fluid-filled sac (bursa), which serves to reduce friction, overlies the tip of the elbow (olecranon bursa). The elbow can be affected by inflammation of the tendons or the bursae (plural for bursa) or conditions that affect the bones and joints, such as fractures, arthritis, or nerve irritation. Joint pain in the elbow can result from injury or disease involving any of these structures.

Normal Elbow Illustration - Elbow Pain
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See what others are saying

Comment from: tac, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 23

I have sudden elbow pain when I pick up something or squeeze something! It started in the left and then a week later in the right! I've had it now for about 4 weeks! I can do pushups just fine! It's strange to me it started in one elbow and then a few weeks later in the other!

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Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I have a lot of pain in my elbow when I move it in certain positions or stretch it out. I cannot stretch it all the way out, not because of the pain but because it just won't stretch as far as my other one, though it does hurt to try and stretch it all the way out. This started when I fell from about 3 feet and I landed in the push up position in order to break my fall, therefore, jamming the elbow. It did hurt quite a bit when it happened and as the pain slowly subsided I'm still experiencing horrible pain when I move it in certain positions. The fall I had was 2 years ago. When I stretch my flexors and extensors I get a sharp pain as soon as I let the stretch go. Mostly, on the outside of my elbow but I do get pain on the inside as well just not as severe. Also, when I close my elbow all the way the inside hurts quite a bit.

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