Understanding the Causes of Chronic Elbow Pain

Understanding the Causes of Chronic Elbow Pain

Understanding the Causes of Chronic Elbow Pain


Elbow pain is a common complaint among patients, often disrupting daily activities and diminishing the quality of life. Chronic elbow pain, lasting for several weeks or longer, can be particularly debilitating, prompting the need for professional diagnosis and treatment. In this detailed analysis, we explore the various causes of chronic elbow pain and emphasize the importance of consulting with a specialized orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL.



Elbow pain can emerge from a variety of conditions, ranging from acute injuries to chronic degenerative disorders. Understanding the root cause of your elbow pain is crucial in obtaining effective treatment and relief. If you're battling persistent elbow discomfort, the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon becomes indispensable.

Common Causes of Chronic Elbow Pain

1. Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)

Contrary to what its name suggests, tennis elbow doesn’t only afflict tennis players. This condition results from the overuse of the forearm muscles that lead to inflammation and pain around the elbow joint. Repetitive motion, whether from sports or daily activities, can contribute to this common ailment.

2. Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)

Similarly, golfer's elbow is another form of tendinitis which affects the inside of the elbow. It’s caused by repetitive wrist and arm movements which strain the muscles and tendons, leading to pain and discomfort. Despite its name, it can affect anyone regardless of their golfing involvement.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can affect the elbow joint, causing the cartilage that cushions the bones to wear away. This leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the affected joint. Aging and previous elbow injuries exacerbate the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

4. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, including the elbows. This chronic condition can result in swelling, pain, and eventually, joint deformity if not appropriately managed.

5. Bursitis

Elbow bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the elbow joint, become inflamed. This condition can result from injury, frequent pressure on the elbow, or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

6. Fractures and Trauma

Direct trauma or injury to the elbow can lead to fractures, dislocations, and other structural damages that cause chronic pain if not properly treated.

Diagnosing Elbow Pain

An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. A comprehensive evaluation by an experienced orthopedic surgeon will typically include a physical examination, patient history review, and possibly imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs. These assessments help to pinpoint the specific cause of elbow pain and devise an appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment Options

Treatment for chronic elbow pain may range from conservative methods like physical therapy and medications to more invasive procedures such as injections or surgery, depending on the severity and underlying cause of the pain.

Physical therapy can be particularly beneficial in cases of tendinitis or mild arthritis, helping to strengthen the muscles around the elbow and improve flexibility. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be required to repair damaged tissues or replace the affected joint.

Selecting the Right Orthopedic Surgeon

When seeking treatment for chronic elbow pain, choosing a qualified and experienced orthopedic surgeon is of paramount importance. In Lake Mary, FL, patients can find highly skilled surgeons specializing in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system.

A reputable orthopedic surgeon will not only focus on alleviating your current symptoms but also on preventing future issues and improving your overall joint health. By tailoring treatment plans to individual needs, they ensure the best possible outcomes for their patients.



Chronic elbow pain can stem from a variety of causes, each requiring a specific treatment approach. Understanding these causes is the first step toward finding relief. However, the expertise of a skilled orthopedic surgeon is crucial in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating chronic elbow conditions.

If you're experiencing persistent elbow pain, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Central Florida Bone & Institute offers comprehensive care for a range of orthopedic conditions, providing personalized treatment plans designed to alleviate pain and restore function. If you're looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Lake Mary, FL, contact us today for more information and take the first step toward a pain-free life.