Elbow pain and stiffness may be related to a wide range of injuries or conditions. Proper treatment depends on the underlying cause of the discomfort.
Medial Epicondylitis or "Golfer's Elbow"
This disorder occurs when the muscles that bend the wrist down are overused, as may occur when swinging a golf club. The resulting pain is experienced in the inner portion of the elbow joint.
Lateral Epicondylitis or "Tennis Elbow"
This injury occurs when the muscles that bend the wrist backward are overused, as may occur during the backhand swing of a tennis player. The resulting pain is experienced directly over the elbow joint.
The olecranon bursa is a sac at the tip of the elbow that allows the skin to move freely over the bone. It may become irritated due to repetitive movement and become swollen and painful.
The biceps are the large muscles in the front of the upper arm that help bend the elbow. Through overuse, the tendon attached to the muscles may become irritated and cause pain in the front of the elbow joint.
Serious injury may occur when the elbow joint sustains trauma and becomes dislocated, displacing the bones from their proper alignment. The resulting pain is experienced around the entire joint.