Elbow Pain & Stiffness

Elbow Pain & Stiffness

These are common presentations for various elbow conditions. They may occur in isolation or simultaneously.

How is the diagnosis made?

Their onset can be spontaneous, with excessive use or after an injury. It is important to identify the underlying cause for these symptoms so that the correct treatment can be initiated.

In the absence of an injury, the patient can try rest and analgesia first. But if the symptoms persist, then they are advised to seek help from their doctor or physiotherapist. If there is a history of an injury, then early review is advised to rule out any fractures or tendon tears.

Pain may arise from the joint, the bones, tendons or ligaments. Stiffness is most commonly seen with arthritis or after an injury. Any treatment aims to resolve both of these symptoms in order to restore function.

What is the treatment?

Many conditions respond well to conservative treatment. These will be tailored to the patients and their needs. They are based on activity modification and exercises. Occasionally, injections may help with the pain. If the elbow does not respond to the conservative management, surgery may be an option. The aim would be to restore function in the elbow.

Please refer to the individual conditions for more detailed management plans.

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