Elbow Pain When Straightening Arm : Causes And Treatment

As human beings, we live and lead our life using both physical and mental structures or organs. From Good Morning to Good Night, our arms play a key role in living our life. They let us connect ourselves and the worlds around us. We have been building civilizations with the help of our arms. But we also have to face some negative issues since we are human beings. Elbow pain is one of them. When straightening your arm, the Elbow pain makes you less productive or even turns down to zero productivity in your daily life.

In some cases, arthritis is one of the main causes of elbow pain. But it is generally caused by overload to your elbow joint. Certain types of our jobs or daily activities like golfing, tennis, or jobs like typing require repetitive motions of arms, which creates overpressure on the soft tissues such as ligaments or tendons and causes elbow pain.

If you have pain in your elbow while straightening your arm, you are experiencing “tennis elbow.” Tennis elbow (Lateral epicondylitis) is used when your elbow is suffering from inflammation due to repetitive stress in your arms.  Stiffness in your elbow can be another reason for the pain. It can occur around your elbow due to injury or any surgery. So in these circumstances, you feel extreme pain whenever you expand your arms to deal with your tasks. This is how the damaged muscles from repetitive use of arms can lead to pain and inflammation in the elbow.

We have been experiencing that almost every athlete feel elbow pain while playing, exercising, or doing workout session. Athletes and sportspersons are the common sufferers from elbow pain rather than other persons due to excessive use of the elbow. Now we will discuss the further causes and treatment for elbow pain when straightening the arm.

Causes of Elbow Pain When Straightening Arm

Elbow pain can arise for various reasons. This Pain can be triggered by any activity that involves repetitive stress in your elbow, lower arm, wrist, finger muscles. Elbow is a joint formed of three bones together. If any problems happen in that part, pain can arise. Before going for treatment, you should know the accurate reason for your pain. This would be better for the doctor or therapist to treat you with better observations. Here some causes are discussed below.

  • Dislocated Elbow: It gets worse when your elbow bone gets dislocated. if it happens, it will be extremely painful for you. You will not be able to straighten your arm properly will feel extreme pain.
  • Fractured Elbow: Fractured elbow defines when your arms bone is broken, it can happen by accidents. If you feel inflammation and can not move your arms freely then you are experiencing a fractured elbow.
  • Strains and Sprains: When muscles are stretched it’s the strains, and when ligaments are stretched it’s the sprains. When you weigh too heavy things, it creates pressure on your elbow muscles and ligaments.
  • Bursitis: Bursa is a small sac in the elbow that cushions your elbow bones, tendons, muscles. They also help skin over the bone. Bursitis can happen due to repetitive movements again and again. It can cause swelling on the bone and limit your ability to expand your arm.
  • Biceps tendinitis: Biceps tendinitis happens when inflammation occurs in your biceps tendons. carrying too heavy things can cause this pain.
  • Tennis Elbow and Golfers Elbow: It doesn’t only happen to the tennis or golf players, you can also suffer from this. It can happen due to the overpressure that creates on your elbow muscles, such as swinging or tennis. It can create inflammation. Tennis elbow affects the outside of the elbow, and golfer’s elbow affects the inside.
  • Arthritis: Various types of arthritis cause elbow pain, but rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis mainly affect your elbow. When you have rheumatoid arthritis your joints are swelling, and when you have osteoarthritis, your bones are broken and rub together.
  • Lyme disease: You may face abnormality in your nervous systems and feel pain in your joints. It can create a serious problem if you do not treat it properly.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans: This occurs when a bone near the elbow dies. It’s general for your knees, but it can also happen in your elbow.

Treatment Of Elbow Pain When Straightening Arm

Self-treatment and rest are sometimes enough to get relief from elbow pain. if you are suffering from tennis or golfer’s elbow, giving rest to your elbow can improve your condition, and symptoms. And if the situation gets worsen, your doctor may recommend further treatment or therapy.

  • Physical therapies: A physical therapy can be useful to develop strength in your elbow. Your therapist will assist you to flex your muscles through exercise including arms exercise, ice massage, and muscles-stimulating techniques. You should stretch your elbow at least once a day to flex your muscles. The therapist knows which movement will give you discomfort and find another way to feel you flex to move your arms.
  • Steroid injection: Since Elbow pain can occur from arthritis pain, your specialist may inject it to your joint point as a part of your treatment. This can create inflammation for a few hours but afterward, it will fade away. This injection is not recommended for tennis or golfer’s pain.
  • Platelet-rich plasma injections: Platelet-rich plasma injections are becoming popular for tennis and golfer’s pain. The therapy is, taking your blood samples and treated the blood samples to increase platelet levels, and then inject them into your painful area. PRP can be more useful than steroid injections and can alleviate your pain more effectively.
  • Surgery: Most people do not need surgery to ease their pain. But when you are suffering severe pain in your elbow and can not move your arm absolutely, you have to go for surgery. If stiffness is grown from new bone, and bones are rubbed together, you may need an operation. Loose pieces of bone are removed by small keyhole surgery. So that bones can not rub that causing pain.

Exercises That Help Pain When Elbow Is Bent or Straightening: 

People can not fully expand their arms after an injury. You should do regular exercise to straighten your arm like before. You can stretch your arm, wrist and bend your fingers to feel comfortable.

  • Wrist extensor: Grasp objects by your finger and slowly blend your wrist, until you feel stretch. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds, then get relaxed and do it repetitively.
  • Wrist turn: Bend your elbow at a right angle and slowly release it. Hold the position for 5 seconds, and do it repetitively. You can do this exercise by using lightweight objects.
  • Elbow bend: Stand up straightly and lift your arm so that your arm can touch your shoulder. Do it for 10 to 15 seconds. Using lightweight during this exercise can develop the strength in your biceps.
  • Plam lift: Put your palm on the table and lift the fingers. Commute hands and do it repetitively. It will be a pretty useful exercise for the tennis elbow.
  • Wrist flex: keep your arm straight with your wrist and blend down your wrist. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. This is especially good for tennis elbow.

When should I See a Doctor For Elbow Pain

Elbow pain is caused by many reasons, and sometimes your pain does not last long and can be managed by rest. But if your pain last-long, rest is not enough and you won’t be able to do your daily activities properly, you should go for treatment. Here some points are described when you should go to the doctor:

  • When your pain lasts long up to weeks or more than two weeks.
  • When your pain does not go away by taking rest or when you can not use your arms.
  • Severe pain in your elbow and smashing around the elbow.
  • Inflammation, redness gets worsen, and when if you are suffering from fever also.
  • Difficult to use or move your arms.
  • Create a barrier to your daily affairs.

Treatments are referred to according to the intensity of your pain. Some patients go for medications, some patients go for physical therapy, some patients go for surgery. It depends on the severity of your pain.

Warm Up

Elbow is an essential part of your body. Elbow pain is being recovered in primary care. Pain can arise from any component of the joint including tendons, bones, or nerves. It is generally a dislocated joint. Treatment should be suggested for reducing pain, maintaining patients’ ability to work. Although therapy, rest is commonly recommended to alleviate your elbow pain, you should go for long-term treatment for better relief.

There are various types of elbow pain. Primary care including rest and therapy can relieve you temporarily. But many of us don’t bother to manage time for rest due to a tight schedule. Ignoring your pain can cause significant damage to your tissues of the elbows. So you should go for treatment that can alleviate your pain permanently and you can get back to your normal activities without any obstacles.