If you have elbow pain, one of several disorders could be the culprit. Overuse and sports injuries cause many elbow conditions. Golfers, baseball pitchers, tennis players, and boxers often have elbow disorders.


  • Broken arm.
  • Bursitis (joint inflammation)
  • Dislocated elbow.
  • Golfer's elbow.
  • Osteoarthritis (disease causing the breakdown of joints)
  • Osteochondritis dissecans.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory joint disease)
  • Sprains and strains.


  • Pain
  • Joint instability
  • Swelling
  • Problems with range of motion
  • Difficulty bending the elbow
  • A locking sensation in the elbow
  • A grating sound during movement


Treatment varies depending on the elbow disorder and symptoms you experience. Most elbow disorders require conservative treatment. Surgery is a last resort if your symptoms don’t improve. Your treatment options include:

  • Ice
  • Rest
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Braces or immobilization
  • Steroid injections
  • Elbow padding


Most elbow disorders are the result of overuse and injury. You can prevent them by:

  • Correcting improper sport techniques
  • Using a proper-sized grip on sports equipment
  • Using proper tension on racquets
  • Warming up and stretching properly
  • Using elbow padding

It’s also important to take breaks from repetitive tasks. Practice exercises that can help strengthen the muscles around your elbow joint. Talk to your doctor for advice and recommendations.