Lateral Epicondylitis – “Tennis Elbow”
Patients often complain of severe, burning pain on the outside part of the elbow. In most cases, the pain starts in a mild and slow fashion and gradually worsens over weeks or months. The pain can be made worse by pressing on the outside part of the elbow or by gripping or lifting objects. In more severe cases, pain can occur with simple motion of the elbow joint.
Medial Epicondylitis – “Golfer’s Elbow”
Pain on the inside of the elbow, usually during or after intense use, usually indicates medial epicondylitis. Because this occurs often in golfers, it has become known as “golfer’s elbow.” It is thought that overuse of the wrist extensors creates cumulative stress, and small tears in the tendon, causing inflammation and pain.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow. There is a bump of bone on the inner portion of the elbow (medial epicondyle) under which the ulnar nerve passes. This site is commonly called the “funny bone.” At this site, the ulnar nerve lies directly next to the bone and is susceptible to pressure. When the pressure on the nerve becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, then numbness, tingling and pain may be felt in the elbow, forearm, hand, and/or fingers.
Injury occurs when repetitive throwing creates an excessively strong pull on the tendons and ligaments of the elbow. This injury can be serious if it becomes aggravated. Repeated pulling can tear ligaments and tendons away from the bone.