Adam C. Young, MD
Alan C. League, MD
Albert Knuth, MD
Alejandra Rodriguez-Paez, MD
Alexander E. Michalow, MD
Alexander Gordon, MD
Alexander J. Tauchen, MD
Alexander M. Crespo, MD
Alfonso Bello, MD
Ami Kothari, MD
Amy Jo Ptaszek, MD
Anand Vora, MD
Andrea S. Kramer, MD
Andrew J. Riff, MD
Angela R. Crowley, MD
Angelo Savino, MD
Anthony Savino, MD
Anuj S. Puppala, MD
Ari Kaz, MD
Ashraf H. Darwish, MD
Ashraf Hasan, MD
Bradley Dworsky, MD
Brian Clay, MD
Brian J. Burgess, DPM
Brian R. McCall, MD
Brian Schwartz, MD
Brian Weatherford, MD
Brooke Vanderby, MD
Bruce Summerville, MD
Bryan Waxman, MD
Bryant S. Ho, MD
Carey E. Ellis, MD
Carla Gamez, DPM
Cary R. Templin, MD
Charles L. Lettvin, MD
Charles M. Lieder, DO
Chinyoung Park, MD
Christ Pavlatos, MD
Christian Skjong, MD
Christopher C. Mahr, MD
Christopher J. Bergin, MD
Craig Cummins, MD
Craig Phillips, MD
Craig S. Williams, MD
Craig Westin, MD
Daniel M. Dean, MD
David Beigler, MD
David Guelich, MD
David H. Garelick, MD
David Hamming, MD
David Hoffman, MD
David M. Anderson, MD
David Raab, MD
David Schneider, DO
Djuro Petkovic, MD
Douglas Diekevers, DPM
Douglas Solway, DPM
E. Quinn Regan, MD
Eddie Jones Jr., MD
Edward J. Logue, MD
Ellis K. Nam, MD
Eric Chehab, MD
Eric L. Lee, MD
Evan A. Dougherty, MD
Garo Emerzian, DPM
Gary Shapiro, MD
Giridhar Burra, MD
Gregory Brebach, MD
Gregory J. Fahrenbach, MD
Gregory Portland, MD
Harpreet S. Basran, MD
Holly L. Brockman, MD
Inbar Kirson, MD, FACOG, Diplomate ABOM
Jacob M. Babu, MD, MHA
Jalaal Shah, DO
James M. Hill, MD
James R. Bresch, MD
Jason G. Hurbanek, MD
Jason Ghodasra, MD
Jason J. Shrouder-Henry, MD
Jeffrey Ackerman, MD
Jeffrey Goldstein, MD
Jeffrey Staron, MD
Jeffrey Visotsky, MD
Jeremy Oryhon, MD
Jing Liang, MD
John H. Lyon, MD
Jonathan Erulkar, MD
Jordan L. Goldstein, MD
Josephine H. Mo, MD
Juan Santiago-Palma, MD
Justin Gent, MD
Justin M. LaReau, MD
Kellie Gates, MD
Kermit Muhammad, MD
Kevin Chen, MD
Kris Alden MD, PhD
Leah R. Urbanosky, MD
Leigh-Anne Tu, MD
Leon Benson, MD
Lori Siegel, MD
Lynn Gettleman Chehab, MD, MPH, Diplomate ABOM
Marc Angerame, MD
Marc Breslow, MD
Marc R. Fajardo, MD
Marie Kirincic, MD
Mark Gonzalez, MD
Mark Gross, MD
Mark Hamming, MD
Mark Mikhael, MD
Matthew L. Jimenez, MD
Mehul H. Garala, MD
Michael C. Durkin, MD
Michael Chiu, MD
Michael J. Corcoran, MD
Michael O'Rourke, MD
Nathan G. Wetters, MD
Nikhil K. Chokshi, MD
Paul L. Goodman, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA
Peter Hoepfner, MD
Peter Thadani, MD
Phillip Ludkowski, MD
Priyesh Patel, MD
Rajeev D. Puri, MD
Rhutav Parikh, MD
Richard J. Hayek, MD
Richard Noren, MD
Richard Sherman, MD
Ritesh Shah, MD
Robert J. Thorsness, MD
Roger Chams, MD
Ronak M. Patel, MD
Scott Jacobsen, DPM
Sean A. Sutphen, DO
Serafin DeLeon, MD
Shivani Batra, DO
Stanford Tack, MD
Steven C. Chudik, MD
Steven J. Fineberg, MD
Steven Jasonowicz, DPM
Steven M. Mardjetko, MD
Steven S. Louis, MD
Steven W. Miller, DPM
Surbhi Panchal, MD
T. Andrew Ehmke, DO
Taizoon Baxamusa, MD
Teresa Sosenko, MD
Theodore Fisher, MD
Thomas Gleason, MD
Timothy J. Friedrich, DPM
Todd R. Rimington, MD
Todd Simmons, MD
Tom Antkowiak, MD, MS
Tomas Nemickas, MD
Van Stamos, MD
Vidya Ramanavarapu, MD
Wayne M. Goldstein, MD
Wesley E. Choy, MD
William P. Mosenthal, MD
William Vitello, MD

Why Do I Have Elbow Pain?

The Elbow Joint Explained

Like the joints in your fingers the elbow is considered a hinge joint, which means that it allows for motion forward and back (flexion and extension) with very minimal twisting. The elbow joins together three bones, the humerus in the upper arm and the radius and ulna in the lower arm. The funny bone in your elbow is a large bony projection from the ulna called the olecranon. A membrane surrounds the entire joint with ligaments joining the three bones together. Two tendons, which attach the bones in your elbow to your muscle, are the primary facilitators or joint movement.

Potential Causes of Elbow Pain

There are quite a few reasons for pain to be occurring in your elbow. Sudden injury, repetitive motion, infections, inflammation, and diseases are all common causes of pain to the elbow.

Elbow Injuries

Injuries can include fractures to the joint, sprains, strains, dislocation, and torn ligaments. Another potential injury related condition, called osteochondritis dissecans, occurs when a small piece of cartilage and bone is separated causing the potential for the elbow to lock in place. Elbow injuries usually occur following a sudden trauma, like hyperextension or impacts, as opposed to repetitive motion injuries and syndromes.

Infections In The Elbow

An infection can occur spontaneously but also may be seen after a surgery or infection elsewhere in the body. Of course an untreated cut or break in the skin near the elbow can also lead to an infection. An infection can cause other issues, namely inflammation, to manifest

Repetitive Motion

Golfers elbow and tennis elbow are two common repetitive motion syndromes that occur in the elbows of adults. Pitchers elbow is another repetitive motion injury that usually only affects growing kids that take part in sports that require throwing, like baseball.


Usually an inflammation in the elbow is secondary to another issue. Disease, injury or infection can all cause inflammation in the elbow. The most common inflammations are bursitis, an inflammation in a small sac of fluid near the olecranon, and tendinitis, irritation of one of the tendons.


Rheumatic diseases are usually the culprits when a disease is causing elbow pain. Arthritis is commonly seen in the elbows of individuals who already are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. Wear and tear on the joint can cause osteoarthritis. Both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis can cause mild to sever pain in the elbow.

When To Visit A Physician

If you have any of the below symptoms, or have any other concerns about your elbow, please make an appointment with an IBJI orthopedic physician today.

The specific symptoms that signal the need to immediately schedule a visit with one of our doctors are:

  • The pain is ongoing without relief
  • A direct injury to the elbow preceded the pain
  • You suspect tendinitis or infection
  • The elbow is unusable
  • There is redness and swelling in the elbow
  • You experience a fever
  • Your elbow is deformed
  • The pain is sudden and unbearable
  • Anytime your child has elbow pain

The Illinois Bone and Joint Institutes doctors are the right choice for help with any kind of chronic or orthopedic pain relief. Call and make an appointment today

*The blog is for general information and educational purposes only regarding musculoskeletal conditions. The information provided does not constitute the practice of medicine or other healthcare professional services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor-patient relationship is formed. Readers with musculoskeletal conditions should seek the advice of their healthcare professionals without delay for any condition they have. The use of the information is at the reader’s own risk. The content is not intended to replace diagnosis, treatment or medical advice from your treating healthcare professional.