Elbow pain: what to do?
- The main causes of pain in the elbow joint
- Diseases against which there is pain in the elbow joint
- Diagnosis of diseases that cause pain in the elbow joint
- Relieving the patient from pain in the elbow joint
- Traditional methods of treating pain in the elbow joint
Many people often experience pain in the elbow joint. In most cases, pain occurs against a background of various diseases, but sometimes it can appear for no apparent reason.
Most often, such a nuisance is faced by people leading an active lifestyle, which includes playing sports, out-of-town recreation in the bosom of nature and regular travel along difficult routes.
People working in arduous conditions are also at risk and often experience elbow pain.
The main causes of pain in the elbow joint
The elbow joint is covered with a synovial membrane and consists of three types of bones (ulna, radius and shoulder), the simple joints of which are connected by a common joint capsule. It is secured by ligaments, the functions of which are to organize the correct direction of the elbow. The range of possible movements of the elbow joint is increased due to the combination of bone joints (brachio-ulnar, brachioradial and proximal radioulnar), which differ in functionality and structure.
Various anatomical connections are located near this joint:
- muscle tissue;
- nerve trunks;
- vessels, etc.
The cause of the appearance of pain can be a banal fall, during which a person gets a bruise of the elbow joint. With such an injury, serious diseases are often detected (such as a fracture or fracture of the bone), since this joint is very sensitive to any physical or mechanical stress.
The reasons for the development of pain in the elbow joint include the following:
- inflammatory processes caused by serious diseases (arthritis, gout, osteochondrosis, etc.);
- tendon rupture;
- dislocation of the elbow joint;
- lifting weights, against the background of which overloads occur, etc.
Diseases against which there is pain in the elbow joint
Very often, pain in the elbow joint occurs against the background of the development of various diseases:
External and internal epicondylitis. With internal epicondylitis, the patient's pain occurs even with a slight physical effect on the elbow joint area. With external epicondylitis, patients develop an inflammatory process in the muscle tendons, through which the bones are attached. In this category of patients, pain occurs against the background of any physical exertion exerted on the elbow joint, especially during its flexion and extension.
Bursitis. With the development of this disease in patients, inflammation of the joint capsule occurs, which is located at the junction of the three bones of the elbow joint. The appearance of bursitis is often preceded by various fall injuries, bruises, etc. At the stage of active development of bursitis, the patient visually detects a rounded neoplasm in the olecranon region, upon exposure to which a person begins to experience pain.
Inflammatory diseases, tumors, osteoarthritis, chondrocalcidosis and tendonitis. These diseases are always accompanied by pain syndrome, which is relieved by traditional medicines.
Synovial chondromatosis or osteochondritis dissecans. Against the background of the development of these diseases, movable osteochondral or bony bodies can be found inside the elbow joint. They move absolutely freely around the joint cavity.
Charcot neurotrophic arthropathy or hemophilia. These diseases are quite rare, but their main symptoms include severe pain syndrome.
Diffuse fasciitis. During the progression of this disease in patients, in addition to pain syndrome, a violation of the mobility of the elbow joint is observed. The main symptoms of this disease include changes in the skin in the area of the inner surface of the shoulders and forearms.
Infringement of the nerve bases (often observed with intervertebral hernias or with osteochondrosis). Almost all patients who have been diagnosed with infringement of the nerve roots have a violation of the mobility of the elbow joint. This condition can be caused by atrophy of the biceps muscle and requires long-term treatment.
Dislocations of the elbow joint (back, side and front). Dislocation can be the result of any trauma suffered: fall, bruise, blow. Sometimes in patients (with dislocations) fractures are revealed, during the treatment of which a plaster cast is applied for a certain time, and pain relievers are prescribed. With severe damage to the elbow joint, patients may experience tendon ruptures, due to which the biceps brachii cannot function normally.
Diagnosis of diseases that cause pain in the elbow joint
The appearance of pain in the elbow joint should alert the person. Pain can be a characteristic symptom of various diseases, which can be detected by a highly qualified specialist after serious diagnostic measures.
If the patient does not know who to turn to for help, he can go to the medical institution to his local doctor, who, after examination, will redirect him to a narrow-profile specialist:
- rheumatologist (identifies various rheumatic lesions);
- traumatologist (deals with injuries, fractures, sprains, dislocations, bruises);
- neurologist (treats various nervous conditions, muscle damage and other diseases of the nervous system).
Reception of the patient begins with a personal examination (the doctor must palpate the area of the elbow joint), after which the specialist begins to collect an anamnesis of the disease.
Before making a diagnosis, the patient is assigned an additional hardware examination:
- ultrasound examination of the elbow joints;
- CT scan;
- magnetic resonance imaging, etc.
Without fail, the patient is sent to the laboratory, where he will have to pass the following tests:
- clinical blood test;
- general urine analysis;
- blood chemistry.
The test results will reveal such dangerous diseases as gout, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. If a doctor has doubts about the diagnosis, he can prescribe a surgical procedure for his patient, during which a puncture will be taken. After evaluating its contents, it will be possible to determine whether degenerative changes exist in the cartilage and to choose the most effective treatment method.
Relieving the patient from pain in the elbow joint
Due to the fact that when contacting any of the specialists (traumatologist, rheumatologist or neurologist), patients experience severe pain, they are primarily assigned:
- pain relievers;
- modifiers and sleeping pills.
For first aid, tablets are often used, such as Nalgezin, etc. Some patients cannot tolerate oral medications, so they are prescribed ointments and gels that relieve pain well. Each drug must be prescribed by a doctor, as any self-medication can lead to serious consequences.
After the patient has been relieved of the pain syndrome, the specialist starts treating the disease that was diagnosed during a comprehensive examination. When treating diseases in which inflammation of the joints occurs, the doctor prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, etc. Since all modern drugs have both positive and negative effects, the doctor prescribes them individually, taking into account all the characteristics of his body. the patient.
In the case when the patient has a number of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the attending physician replaces the tablets with injections. Most often, patients are given injections with hyaluronic acid, which is a substance produced by healthy joints. Also, experts prescribe injections for their patients, for which corticosteroid drugs are used, as well as anesthetics. A short course of such treatment effectively relieves even very severe pain syndrome.
A great effect in the treatment of diseases of the elbow joint is achieved after a course of physiotherapy procedures.
Depending on the type of disease and its degree of development, patients may be assigned:
- paraffin applications;
- mud wraps;
- ozokerite, etc.
In most cases, patients are prescribed a course of physiotherapy procedures, which may consist of at least 10 sessions. Sometimes physiotherapists develop individual programs for patients, taking into account their general condition and tolerance of certain drugs. A good effect can be achieved with the use of healing heat and cold, as well as massage. The use of cold and hot compresses will restore the mobility of the elbow joint, as well as relieve the patient from pain.
The correct application of heat and cold will have a positive effect on the elbow joint and:
- relieve puffiness;
- reduce the inflammatory process;
- relaxes muscles;
- will enhance blood circulation, etc.
When undergoing medical therapy, each patient should regularly exercise the elbow joint. Correctly done exercises will gradually increase joint strength and flexibility.
On the subject: List of modern drugs and drugs for joints
Regular physical activity will be of great help to patients:
- significantly reduce pain syndrome;
- reduce fatigue;
- improve the general condition of the body;
- will keep the muscles in good shape, etc.
If the patient is experiencing severe pain, he must be provided with bed rest. Many experts recommend conducting psychological training that will teach people to cope with pain on their own by mobilizing the body's internal reserves. You can attend group sessions in which patients learn to meditate.
Traditional methods of treating pain in the elbow joint
In folk medicine, there are a large number of recipes that help people get rid of pain in the elbow joint. Each person at home can prepare various tinctures, the main component of which is propolis. A good result is also achieved when using elecampane tincture, which can be purchased ready-made, or you can make it yourself. Such liquids should be used to lubricate the elbow area, compresses can be applied, the functions of which are to relieve swelling and pain.
You can get rid of pain in the elbow joint with laurel oil, which has a warming effect. This traditional medicine can be used both for rubbing into the skin and for compresses. You can also try to get rid of pain through another popular technique - ice treatment. To prepare healing ice cubes, you need to brew green tea, strain it and pour it into molds, which should be sent to the freezer for several hours. Wrap the finished cubes in a cloth and apply to the sore spot.
Massaging the elbow joint area can significantly improve the patient's condition, relieve swelling and restore mobility. Painful sensations will disappear after completing a full course of massage, in which natural honey is used instead of oil.
It is possible to relieve inflammation in the elbow joint with the help of baths, for which the following components are used:
- sea salt;
- fresh pine cones;
- pine branches and needles.
Compresses are very good at relieving pain in the elbow joint. For them, it is recommended to use:
- horse sorrel tincture;
- celandine juice;
- tincture of Kalanchoe;
- white and red clay;
- tincture of birch leaves, etc.
On the subject: Other folk remedies
Author of the article: Kaplan Alexander Sergeevich | Orthopedist
Education: diploma in the specialty "General Medicine" received in 2009 at the Medical Academy. I. M. Sechenov. In 2012 completed postgraduate studies in Traumatology and Orthopedics at the City Clinical Hospital named after Botkin at the Department of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Disaster Surgery.