Arthritis cannot be cured but it can be managed. It occurs when your joint gets damaged & it becomes harder to do things. The elbow joint is a complex structure and any inflammation, deformity or weakness in the relavant muscles, bones or adjoining skin makes it difficult holding your bones and the overall strcture together.
Why you should not ignore elbow pain?
The elbow is an important juncture that connects the upper and lower arm. The elbow consists of three bones that connects with the radius and ulna bones in your upper arm. The ends of all the bones are lined with the articular cartilage to avoid friction. Any damage to the cartilage layer causes elbow arthritis and results in severe elbow pain. Damage can lead to severe stiffness, deformity, and will be painful for the elbow.
The most common aggrevators of elbow arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are suffering from consistent relapsing elbow pain, the reason might be elbow arthritis.
Hands being one of the most vital body parts for initial/reflex response, elbow pain can become serious if ignored. Elbow arthritis restricts some of the very basic activities like eating in its advanced stages and makes it difficult for you to do simple activities to bend or straighten the hand.
What are the causes of Elbow Arthritis?
It can generally be caused due to a range of motion which occurs in the elbow.Risk factors leading to chronic conditions are as below-
Osteoarthritis: Mainly affects the bonesdue to deficiency of calcium. Bones go brittle and often suffer internal damage in form of pores. The elbow joints need much more strength while performing normal activities with a brittle framework to hold together. The overuse often erodes the cartilage layer leading to elbow pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Affects the muscles mostly due to lack of required level of movement in the affected area; mostly due to sedentary lifestyle. Weakened muscles lose the ability to hold the bones in place and needs more efforts during normal activities resulting in muscle fatigue and pain.
Psoriatic Arthritis: It is associated with the skin condition around the joints leading to swelling and inflamation. Mostly people suffering from psoriasis eventually develops arthritis.
Symptoms of Elbow Arthritis –
The most difficult part of the symptoms that indicate elbow arthritis are the fact that the symptoms are too common. We often tend to ignore visible signals like consistency of recurrence of pain, frequency and persistence of visible signs like numbness or swelling tendencies, severe elbow pain, restrictions in normal hand activities etc
- Pain which is not only limited to in and around the elbow, often extends to the wrists and finger joints
- Swelling which might not develop immediately but may develop eventually
- Stiffness which also eventually increases and is felt over the years. In advanced conditions, movement may get completely restricted if ignored and without prescribed medications or exercises
- Numbness in hands while doing day to day stuff
- Clicking or snapping feeling- A current like sensation is felt which subsides in minutes but is painful.
Quick fixes for Elbow Arthritis pain? You don’t need to panic or rush to your nearest doctor if you are experiencing bearable pain in your elbows it may be a result of a bad sleeping posture the previous night! What you can do at home for temporary relief ?
- Just heat and ice your elbow if pain resurfaces & consistently stays– A regular home therapy you can indulge in without second thoughts if you are experiencing elbow pain.
- Slow exercises – You can try doing exercise gently to avoid the pain in your elbows. Excercising is a must. Fifteen minutes of daily hand, shoulder, wrist and finger exercises will help significant relief from elbow arthritis.
Treatment for Elbow Arthritis Certainly, it depends upon the stage of the disease which you have. If you go to an experienced doctor, they can easily diagnose osteoarthritis with based on symptoms or other specific changes in it. He just needs an X-ray that shows the changes to confirm your case and you can take the suggested treatment accordingly.
Use of cortisone injections is one of the commonest solutions provided by registered orthopaedics. It is an injection which will provide you temporary relief for a few months and will not cause any pain or problem. Major side effects have never been reported. But a mandatory information that often people miss out is that this injection is for temporary use. To be able to reduce your elbow pain you will need to be supported by a healthy lifestyle, good food habits and scheduled exercise routines.
Arthritis can’t be cured completely once developed. It can only be put under check. Surgery for elbow arthritis is required only if your treatment is not working and you have severe pain, weakness or previous already persistant allied issues.