Elbow Pain

The Elbow is a modified hinge joint and works with the two forearm joints to provide not only bend and straighten movements but also the ability to rotate the forearm to place our hand palm up or down. It also makes the insertion point for a number of the major arm and forearm muscles and is vulnerable to stresses and overuse strains.

What type of elbow pain do you have?

Tennis / Golfers Elbow

Tennis and Golfers elbow are both caused by an overuse to the tendons that originate at the elbow joint, with tennis elbow to the lateral aspect where the wrist extensors insert and Golfers elbow to the medial aspect where the wrist flexors insert. Don’t be fooled by the names, it’s not only sports which cause this overload, use of certain tools, housework and keyboard work can also cause these problems. Either condition can cause pain when gripping and can be painful to touch or knocking the elbow.


Fractures of the elbow are common after falls and are vulnerable after a period in plaster or splint to over-forming bone and becoming very stiff as a result. Carefully paced physiotherapy in the early stages of recovery is essential.


Bursitis is inflammation to the fatty, fluid filled cushions that act as spacers between the bone and soft tissues, reducing friction and easing sliding and gliding between the structures. The most common area to be affected is behind the elbow and can produce a large mis-shaped lump at the point of the elbow which can be very painful and limit full straightening of the arm.

How we can help

At Essex Physiotherapy, your therapist will carry out a thorough assessment, looking at the movements and activities you can still do, anything you can’t do and deciding if further investigation such as an x-ray, blood tests or a scan is needed. Elbow pain can impact your life and hobbies but will usually settle readily if dealt with correctly. A combination of exercise therapy, manual therapy, soft tissue therapies, taping and supports plus pain relief often proves helpful. Combined with education on what’s happening and why, things can often improve quickly. Mindset coaching can also make a huge difference to overcoming fear and limiting beliefs that hold back our recovery.

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