Causes of Joint Pain in Hands and Elbows

Joint pain is caused by a range of underlying conditions. Some are minor and recover by themselves. Others are chronic and require continuous treatment. Wrist and elbow joint pain can be caused by terrible or overuse injury to multiple structures or by medical conditions such as arthritis. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you have wrist or elbow joint pain. Lots of injuries can not be discovered without an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.

Tendon Injury

Tendons connect muscle to bone. These structures attach near to your elbow and wrist joints, and inflammation might cause joint pain. Tendinitis is a common cause of elbow pain in particular. Tennis elbow and golf enthusiast’s elbow explain tendon injuries that might impact professional athletes but are likewise typical in the basic population. Muscles that bend and straighten your wrist connect on either side of your elbow joint. Less typically, tendinitis might take place in your wrist, especially on the thumb side. Overuse of these muscles can occur with typing, sewing, use of hand tools and sports activities. Tendinitis is often treated with rest, nonsteriodal antiinflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), as well as physical therapy. Cortisone injection and surgery might be needed for some cases of tendon injury.

Ligament Strain

Ligaments are strong fibers of connective tissue that connect bone to bone. Injury to these structures takes place when fibers are overstretched, typically by trauma. Elbow and wrist ligaments can be overstretched by falling on an outstretched hand, for instance. Severe extending can cause dislocation, indicating bones in the joint vacate position. This requires immediate medical attention. Ligament strains in the wrist or elbow may cause sharp pain immediately after injury, as well as swelling or bruising, These injuries are often treated conservatively with physical therapy and splinting. Ligament injuries that cause instability of your joints might require surgery.

causes of sudden joint pain in hands


Bone fractures can impact the elbow and wrist. The radius bone on the thumb side of your wrist is regularly fractured– most often when you attempt to catch yourself while falling. The opposite end of this bone, called the radial head, becomes part of your elbow joint. Radial head and other elbow fractures are also usually caused by trauma, such as a fall or automobile mishap. These injuries need immediate medical attention. Lots of fractures are debilitated with a cast or splint for 4 to 6 weeks. Complex fractures– multiple bone fragments or bones that have moved out of place– may require surgery.


Arthritis can impact any joint in your body. Osteoarthritis is caused by breakdown of the cartilage that offers padding between the bones in a joint. This condition might impact one or more joints in your body, normally impacting one side or the other. This type of arthritis is uncommon in the elbow joint. Regularly, arthritis establishes after trauma to the joint. Wrist arthritis is common and often develops with bone disease or after a terrible injury. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that impacts multiple joints in the body at the same time. This disease causes your body to erroneously attack healthy joint tissue. Both types of arthritis may cause sharp pain with activity, aching at rest, restricted motion of your joint and potentially swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis frequently impacts the wrist and elbow joints. Treatment includes medication, activity modification and rest. Severe cases may need joint replacement surgery.

Infected Elbow Joint (Septic Arthritis)

Infection of the elbow joint with bacteria (septic arthritis) is uncommon. It is most often seen in patients with reduced immune systems or diabetes, those taking cortisone medications, or intravenous drug abusers. The most typical bacteria that cause infection of the elbow joint are Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Septic arthritis of the elbow requires antibiotic treatment and frequently surgical drainage. It is characterized by heat, swelling, heat, redness, and pain, with minimal variety of motion of the elbow joint. Septic arthritis is typically connected with fever, sweats, and chills.


Inflammation of the skin associated to infection (cellulitis) frequently occurs as a result of abrasions of the skin. When abrasions or leak wounds take place, bacteria on the surface area of the skin can get into the much deeper layers. This causes swollen skin identified by heat, soreness, warmth, and swelling. The most common bacteria that cause cellulitis include Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. Patients can have an associated low-grade fever. Cellulitis requires antibiotic treatment, either orally or intravenously. Cellulitis can result in infection of the olecranon bursa, triggering olecranon bursitis, as described above.


Bone tumors of the elbow joint are uncommon. Main bone cancer can occur. It can be pain-free or related to pain in the elbow joint. It is usually noticeable by X-ray testing. Nuclear medicine bone scanning can also be handy for detection.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

The ulnar nerve is the “amusing bone” nerve which travels in between the tip of the elbow and the inner elbow bone. At this site, the nerve can be “pinched” by normal structures or swollen structures after injury. This pinching is described as entrapment. When ulnar nerve entrapment happens, numbness and tingling of the little and ring finger of the hand might be felt. Pain might occur in the whole lower arm, normally the inner side. Hand mastery can be impacted. Sometimes, the numbness is replicated by elevating the hand. Treatment consists of preventing repeated trauma or pressure to the elbow area and resting the elbow joint. Splints to restrict bending the elbow can be used at night. Periodically, ice can help. In severe cases, surgical repositioning of the ulnar nerve can be needed. This relocates the ulnar nerve to a position where it will not be constantly compressed by the surrounding structures.


Updated: August 8, 2016 — 5:45 pm

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * © 2016-2017 | Trusted

Related pages

effect of iron tablets on stoolssgpt level normal rangelumps behind ear on headnon opiate pain killerperoxide and ear waxmembrane sweep 40 weeks success rateresting heart rate pregnancyoily substance in urinescrotal itching causesswollen hard lymph node behind eardental xray pregnancybest over the counter pain pillscomplications of untreated strep throatcramping at 6 weeks pregnantabsent bowel soundsymptomless utiteeth crowns painfundal anterior placenta meanslymph nodes around earside effects of aloe vera juiceherpes hair folliclescaly skin scrotumepiglottis musclesmall liver hemangiomaleukocytes in urine while pregnantlymph node swollen by earwhat is the lowest hemoglobin levelside effects tetanus shot adultsswelling of eyelids in the morningtoenail fell off no paincompare pain relieverswhat causes sciatic nerve pain during pregnancyamniotic sac leaksilicon dioxide healthmembrane sweep successurine colour meaningsl374 hydrocodonepain in iliummovements of baby in 8th month of pregnancyperiod nausea reliefpainful sores on roof of mouthherpangina adultperipheral field losstaking biotin side effectswhat is mch in blood countingrown hair genital areasharp pain inhalinglow rdw in bloodknee feels like it needs to crackexcessive groin sweatingrejuveness silicone sheetupper abdominal pain tender to touchglobulin in bloodherniated disc picturesurvival rate secondary liver cancerpregnancy causes yeast infectionpain between armpit and chestred spots on feet and ankleswisdom teeth gums swollenache in between shoulder bladesconstipation recoveryamoxocillin rashfoul smell coming from noserdw-cdpain in right side behind ribsheat rash on legs from walkingwhat is mch in blood test is lowis bubbles in urine normaldiet to reduce acid refluxis it safe to eat sprouting potatoesstrained muscle in ribsitchy bumps on knees and elbowsingrown hair pictures in pubic areasigns of a torn achilles tendonmans nipplesore little bumps on tonguecuboid bonewater retention postpartumpain left side chest under breastheat rash ankles