Skip to Content

MidMichigan Health - Joint Pain Assessment Icon

Assess how well your knee or hip joints are functioning. Take our FREE 5 minute assessment and recieve recommendations for follow-up steps.


Elbow Pain 

Common Causes of Elbow Pain

Elbow pain can severely limit daily activity and diminish quality of life. The most common causes of elbow pain are:

  • Tendonitis such as epicondylitis, called tennis or golfer's elbow
  • Bursitis 
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome - entrapment of the ulnar nerve
  • Biceps rupture
  • Injuries such as fractures, sprains, strains, ligament tears and dislocations
  • Referred pain from the neck

Getting to the Cause of Elbow Pain

There are many possible causes of elbow pain, not all of them originating in the elbow. Since proper treatment depends on the root cause, see your family doctor or an orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis.

Diagnostic Testing

Your family doctor or orthopaedic specialist may use one or more of the following evaluation methods to arrive at a diagnosis:

Treatment Options

Typically, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments.

  • Medication - typically oral anti-inflammatories
  • Physical or occupational therapy - MidMichigan Health offers comprehensive rehabilitation services at one of our convenient locations. Ask your doctor about a referral.
  • Splinting
  • Rest or activity modification if the cause is overuse
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery - the most common elbow surgeries performed at MidMichigan are
    • Ulnar nerve release or transposition
    • Surgical debridement of the area where the tendon is inflamed
    • Fracture repair

The MidMichigan Difference

  • Board-certified orthopaedic surgeons
  • Team philosophy - our orthopaedic specialists work closely with rehabilitation services to ensure your safe and speedy return to normal activity.