Elbow Pain

Orthopaedic Specialists

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in the greater Nashville, Tennessee Area

Your elbow joint seldom receives much attention until you develop elbow pain and realize how it restricts your everyday activities. Brandon Downs, MD, and the medical team at Orthopaedic Specialists are experts when it comes to determining the cause of your elbow pain and providing treatment that gets you back into action. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Nashville, Dickson, Ashland City, Kingston Springs, Centerville and Gallatin, Tennessee, or use the online booking feature.

Elbow Pain Q & A

What causes elbow pain?

Elbow pain may develop following a fall or sports injury, from overuse, or due to a degenerative condition. A few of the most common causes of elbow pain include:


Over years of wear-and-tear, osteoarthritis develops as the cartilage covering bones inside the elbow joint breaks down, allowing bones to rub together and leading to pain, stiffness, inflammation, and bone spurs.  

Tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow

Repetitive activities such as tennis and golf place stress on the tendons that attach your arm muscles to your elbow. This overuse leads to small tears, inflammation, and pain that gets worse if the elbow isn’t properly treated.

Elbow fractures

Suffering a direct blow to your elbow or falling on an outstretched arm may cause enough pressure to break bones in the elbow joint.

Throwing injuries

The forceful, repetitive overhead arm motion performed by baseball pitchers and during other activities leads to ligament injuries and stress fractures in the elbow.    

Cubital tunnel syndrome

The ulnar nerve goes from your neck to your hand. To get around your elbow, the nerve travels through a small place called the cubital tunnel, where it can become pinched and cause cubital tunnel syndrome.

What symptoms develop in addition to elbow pain?

The problems that cause your elbow pain often lead to additional symptoms. You may experience:

  • Swelling and/or bruising
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the elbow
  • Difficulty turning your forearm
  • Numbness or tingling in your arm and hand
  • Electric-shock pain from the elbow down your arm
  • Loss of power when throwing

If you suffer a ligament injury, you may develop joint instability or the feeling that the bones may slide out of the joint.

How do you treat elbow pain?

Your provider at Orthopaedic Specialists begins by assessing your symptoms, performing a physical examination, and obtaining diagnostic imaging if needed to check for fractures.

In most cases, treatment starts with conservative therapies. You may need to modify your activities or wear a splint or sling to immobilize your elbow. 

In the case of a severe injury or complex fracture, your provider at Orthopaedic Specialists may recommend surgery to repair the soft tissues or place bones back into their proper position. Whether you receive nonsurgical or surgical treatment, you start physical therapy as soon as possible to restore strength and movement.

At Orthopaedic Specialists you also have access to bone marrow treatment and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. These regenerative therapies accelerate healing, promote tissue regeneration, and alleviate pain. 

If you develop elbow pain, call Orthopaedic Specialists or schedule an appointment online.