Updated: 2019, Jul 6

Arthritis In Elbow: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment and More

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The elbow is an important part of the human body and consists of numerous parts, including bones and tendons, as well as three joints.

The elbow is important for normal arm movements and when problems develop with the elbow, we may find it more difficult to perform everyday tasks, such as making coffee, washing the dishes – even cooking a simple meal for our family can become nearly impossible. Arthritis is one particular condition that can affect the elbow joints, leading to elbow joint pain, a decrease in mobility, inflammation and often severe discomfort.

Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. There are a large number of different arthritis diseases and they all tend to affect joints in the body. The Arthritis Foundation explains that the most common forms of arthritis include Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. While these two arthritis diseases may cause similar symptoms, they do not affect the joints in the same way. Osteoarthritis causes the deterioration of joints and is often caused by wear-and-tear, while Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that is caused by an immune system attacking the tissue of joints in the body.

What Causes Arthritis In Elbow?

Arthritis in the elbow can be caused by a number of different factors. It is important to know about these factors as identifying potential risk factors can help a patient reduce their risk by adjusting their lifestyle to minimize their risk of developing the disease. Not all arthritis types that can affect the elbow joints are caused by the same risk factors; thus it is also important to consider potential causes of the most common arthritis diseases individually.

Healthline reports that the most common cause of osteoarthritis is damage done to the joints in the elbow over several years. This causes cartilage to be destroyed – cartilage is the protective layer that avoids bones and joints from rubbing against each other. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is caused by problems with the immune system, which causes the immune system to attack the joints in the elbow; thus leading to inflammatory responses in the elbow. The inflammation then causes damage to the joints, leading to elbow joint pain and discomfort, as well as a decrease in range of motion.

What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Elbow?

Various symptoms may be experienced when a person has developed arthritis in their elbow. For people wondering what does arthritis in elbow feels like, it is important to know that the common symptom that may be experienced is pain. Cedars-Sinai explains that one of the earliest symptoms is often pain in the elbow joint’s outer side. The pain often becomes more severe when the forearm is rotated or extended. Note that elbow pain that continues to be present even after periods of resting, such as at night, may indicate more serious osteoarthritis.

Inflammation may also be present, although this particular symptom is more common when a patient has Rheumatoid Arthritis. With Osteoarthritis, inflammation is not always present. The elbow joint may also become unstable and its flexibility may also be reduced significantly. Some patients find that their elbow joint locks up – in this case, the patient is suspected to be suffering from Osteoarthritis.

Stiffness is a very common symptom with both Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. The elbow may feel stiff and regular movements, such as straightening the arm of bending the arm at the elbow may become harder.

It is also important to note that if the pain is experienced in both elbows and not only one, then the patient will be suspected of Rheumatoid Arthritis. In addition to experiencing pain in both elbows, the shoulders or wrists are also often affected as well.

How to Diagnose Arthritis in Elbow?

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Before a patient can be treated for arthritis in their elbow joints, they will need to visit a doctor for a physical examination and to get their arthritis officially diagnosed. Diagnosis of this disease is important as there are different forms of arthritis that can affect the elbow; thus an accurate diagnosis is needed to provide the patient with an appropriate treatment plan.

During a visit to a healthcare professional, a patient will be examined. Their elbow will be inspected by the healthcare professional. Additionally, the healthcare professional will also most have to order a series of tests to further inspect the patient’s condition.

These tests often include an extraction of joint fluids, which is then sent to a laboratory for testing, as well as a series of blood tests.

Certain imaging tests can also help a healthcare professional identify the possibility of arthritis in the patient’s joints, as well as help them determine the severity of the arthritis disease. These imaging tests usually include an X-Ray of the elbow joint. MRI scans may also be conducted on the elbow joint if required.

How to Treat Elbow Arthritis?

After a patient has been diagnosed with arthritis in their elbows, their health care professional will start to compile an appropriate treatment plan for them. Most types of arthritis cannot be cured, but the symptoms that the disease causes can be reduced effectively with the use of certain treatment options. Some medication may also be used to slow the progression of arthritis diagnosed in the patient. Elbow pain treatment is also administered to help reduce pain and inflammation and to increase mobility and range of motion so that the patient can experience an improvement in their quality of life.

The most common type of treatment for elbow arthritis is to utilize NSAIDs, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs have been designed to reduce inflammation around the affected joints and also to assist with relieving the painful symptoms a patient may be experiencing. The most common kinds of NSAIDs used for arthritis include Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen, Naproxen, Celecoxib and Diclofenac, as reported by the Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network.

Arthritis Research UK reports that physiotherapy is also an effective treatment method to assist with strengthening the elbow joints and for reducing the damaging being dealt with these joints by arthritis. In some cases, a healthcare professional may recommend the injection of steroids directly into the affected area. Recently, a new treatment option has also been shown to produce effective results. This treatment option is known as a platelet-rich plasma injection or a PRP injection.

In severe cases of elbow arthritis, a patient may be advised that surgery would be the most appropriate method for reducing their pain and discomfort. This is often the case when arthritis has caused severe damage to the elbow joint; thus resulting in symptoms that impair the patient’s ability to perform day-to-day activities. Different types of surgeries can be provided to the patient, depending on the specific joint that is affected and how severe the damage is.

Is Tennis Elbow A Form Of Arthritis?

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Tennis elbow is a condition that affects the joints and can often lead to similar symptoms as certain forms of arthritis. For this reason, a lot of people may wonder whether tennis elbow is, in fact, a type of arthritis.

Arthritis Research UK explains that tennis elbow is a condition on its own that occurs when tendons that attach the lateral epicondyle and extensor muscles in the elbow develop painful inflammation and become painful. This, however, does not mean arthritis will develop.

How Can You Heal The Tennis Elbow?

Apart from the fact that both arthritis and tennis elbow tends to cause pain in the elbow, certain treatment methods utilized in arthritis can also be beneficial for a patient with tennis elbow. More specifically, utilizing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce both inflammation and pain. Physical therapy or giving massage with a liberal amount of Nyloxin Topical Gel on the affected area may also help to strengthen the elbow muscles and reduce pain.

Conclusion

Arthritis in elbow can be uncomfortable and worrisome, causing a person to experience a decrease in their range of motion in the affected arm. The disease can cause pain and inflammation, lead to disability and a reduced quality of life. Diagnosed at an early stage, elbow arthritis can be treated and the progression of the disease can be significantly reduced.
Additionally, several assistive devices can be utilized to assist with increasing range of mobility and to relieve discomfort experienced by a patient with elbow arthritis. Or else you can use a joint pain supplement. Many consumers across have provided Glucosamine Chondroitin Turmeric & MSM review. This pain relief supplement could help alleviate joint pain instantly.

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