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Elbow Pain

Backgroud picture of couple lifting weights
image of the anatomy of the elbow joint

The elbow is an important joint of the arm and without it we would struggle to perform a lot of our day to day tasks of living. 

The elbow joint consists of three bones:

- The humerus (bone of the upper arm) 

- The radius (bone of the forearm)

- The ulna (bone of the forearm)

The main elbow joint is made up of the link between the humerus and the two forearm bones. Movement at this joint allows you to bend and straighten your elbow. 

There is also a joint between the two forearm bones- this joint allows the forearm to turn the palm of your hand up or down.

Injury to the bones or joints can lead to stiffness in these movements which can then lead to problems carrying out everyday tasks.  


​Despite being problematic and impacting on our day to day life, there's no reason why elbow pain should stop you from continuing your everyday life. In most cases it can be easily managed by you at home. Use the links below to find out more about specific problems with your wrist or hand. 

  • Acute back pain
    Acute back pain can come on suddenly, or over time and can range from a mild pain or ache to quite severe pain, which can be extremely distressing and can sometimes stop you carrying out your everyday activities. It is often difficult to identify why your back is painful as the pain can come from joints, muscles or nerves being inflammed, stretched or compressed. More often than not, acute back pain comes on without any specific injury to your back. You may experience: Back pain Muscle spasm Stiffness Leg pain (sciatica) Watch the video above to find out how to help with this. For most cases of back pain, X-ray and scans are of little benefit.
  • Chronic Back Pain
    Chronic back pain refers to pain that has not gone away after three months. Like acute back pain, it is usually caused by a strain or a sprain in the back - but the pain and distress can last for much longer and it can have a big impact on your day-to-day life. Chronic back pain can range from a mild pain or ache, to a more severe pain. This can depend on a variety of things, such as how happy you are at home or at work, if you are prone to depression or if you have had back pain before. Chronic back pain usually requires treatment such as medication or physiotherapy. In most cases though, your back will heal itself. It is important that you keep active and continue as normal, but if your pain is severe and persistent then you should seek medical advice for diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
  • Sciatica
    Sciatica is a pain that travels down from your lower back or buttock, to your foot. It usually happens when the jelly within the discs that separate the bones of your spine (vertebrae) pushes out of the disc and irritates the sciatic nerve. Swollen muscles, joints or ligaments can also irritate the nerve causing sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs down through the back, into the buttock, down the back of the leg and round to the outside of the lower leg and foot. When the nerve gets compressed or irritated, the brain interprets the pain as coming from the buttock or leg instead of the back, where the problem actually is. The pain is often a severe shooting pain, sometimes accompanied with pins and needles or numbness. You should seek urgent medical attention if you experience any of the following: - loss of control of your bladder or bowel - numbness around your saddle (genital) area - problems with the coordination of your steps when walking Sciatica can usually be helped with exercise. If the pain is too severe to exercise, speak to your GP about medication you could take for a short time to allow you to exercise. When you're ready, try to exercise class on the back pain webpage.
  • Spinal Stenosis
    Download an information pack here For more information, see the Versus Arthritis website here

Getting a stiff elbow moving again

Elbow Rehab

Elbow Rehab

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