Common Elbow Injuries

The elbow joint is a synovial hinge joint in the arm and consists of three main bones: The humerus of the upper arm, the radius and ulna of the forearm. The elbow joint enables us to bend and straighten our arm.

Tennis Elbow


This is a condition that causes pain on the outside of your elbow. It is mostly caused by overusing your forearm from repetitive or strenuous motions.  If these motions are a normal part of your daily routine, then resolving your tennis elbow pain can involve quite a lot of time and treatment. In the interim, you may only get bouts of temporary relief. Permanent relief will probably necessitate a change in your daily routine and a fair degree of patience. Needless to say, tennis elbow problems should always be referred to qualified therapists with access to suitable technology, such as shockwave.


A simple but effective exercise involves doing light twists of the arm and bicep curls using a lightweight. The goal is to strengthen the tendons and the muscles in you arm.  You can also stretch out the forearm by placing your fingers on a hard surface and pressing downwards, stretching out both the hands, the wrists, and the forearms.


Self-massage can also be helpful and can be found on YouTube. We also offer sports massage therapies in the clinic, ask for details



Golfers Elbow


Now the difference between tennis elbow and golfers’ elbow is that tennis elbow is inflammation of the tendon where it joins to the bone in the outer elbow and golfers elbow is inflammation of the tendon where it joins to a bone in the inner elbow.


Both injuries are overuse injuries that are caused by activities that require repetitive motion of the arm and wrist. The problems of resolving pain from golfers elbow are the same as for tennis elbow, covered above.


Occasionally, for both golfers and tennis elbow you may wear an elbow brace. The purpose of the brace is to redirect the pressure over your muscles so that the injured area doesn’t take full force.




Bursitis of the elbow There are many bursae located throughout the body that act as cushions between bones and soft tissues, such as skin. They contain a small amount of lubricating fluid that allows the soft tissues to move freely over the underlying bone.


Sometimes the bursa may become irritated or inflamed, more fluid will accumulate in the bursa and a bursitis will develop. It becomes swollen, painful and worsens with direct pressure on to the elbow. The swelling can sometimes grow large enough to effect range of motion. It can also become red and warm to touch.


At Nicky Snazell’s clinic, you can receive two treatments for bursitis that will help alleviate acute and chronic pain. Deep oscillation and pulsed shortwave.


  • Deep oscillation provides an electrostatic current that helps to increase blood flow, circulation and helps to enhance treatment outcomes as it proves symptomatic relief.


  • Pulsed shortwave acts as a type of microwave that provides a high frequency electromatic energy into the body to help reduce pain and swelling. It works particularly well for bursitis.


A soft pad can ease discomfort.


Ulna nerve irritation 

This occurs when the nerve in the arm becomes compressed or irritated. The ulna nerve is one of the three main nerves in the arm. It travels from your neck down into your hand and can be constricted in several places along the way.


The most common place for compression of the nerve is behind the inside part of the elbow. Ulnar nerve compression at the elbow is called ‘cubital tunnel syndrome. It can cause numbness and tingling sensations in the hand and fingers.


However, you should seek help from a therapist as there are a number of reasons you may be getting these symptoms. More often than not, the pins and needles sensation you may feel, in your hand, for example, can be coming from a different area of the body completely. It may just be referred pain you are experiencing.



Top tips to reduce the likelihood of elbow injury


  • Seek early advice from a physiotherapist or sports therapist.


  • Protect your joints during activity, especially during winter activities. Wear elbow pads and wrist guards


  • Don’t throw through elbow pain.


  • Maintain a good posture- this prevents elbow injuries from compensatory overuse.


  • Consider a workstation set up, as elbow pain can develop with prolonged daily computer use with poor posture.



If you are in pain, we can help
Call 01889 881488 Now
Jean, Erica & Charlotte will be happy to help