Addressing Elbow Pain: Advice From Fresno’s Top Orthopedic Doctor


Elbow pain is an all too common issue in all ages. Approximately 3% of all U.S. residents experience lateral elbow tendinopathy (tennis elbow), but it’s even higher in people between the ages of 40 to 60 (upwards of 10%). Among workers who engage in repetitive hand and wrist motions, such as plumbers and medical workers, the prevalence is even higher at 29%.

It’s not a pain to ignore. While some muscle strain may ease over time. Some causes of elbow pain are serious. Explore what causes elbow pain and get tips from the top orthopedic doctor in Fresno.


Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. With age and excessive use, the cartilage on your joints wears thin. It can reach a point where bone rubs on bone, which is very painful. While the pain makes it hard to want to move your elbow, exercise is the best way to manage this type of arthritis. Pain management techniques, PRP injections, and stem cell therapy are all good ways to start easing elbow pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a second type of arthritis that can trigger elbow pain. It occurs when your immune system attacks the joints, it’s most common in the hands and feet, but people can experience elbow pain, too. If you have RA, you need to work with a doctor on the best medications to ease flare-ups.

Gout is a third type of arthritis that can affect the elbow. It is more common in the big toe, however. It occurs when uric acid crystals build up in a joint and create severe pain. The pain can be bad enough that even putting a sock on is excruciating. There is no cure for gout, but medications and dietary changes can help.


Within a joint is the bursa, which is a sac that cushions the bones. If that sac fills with fluid, it becomes inflamed and causes pain and severe swelling. It often occurs after a hard hit to the elbow or from prolonged pressure, such as an AC technician who is often on elbows and knees in tight spaces. It can take months to develop. Typically, the fluid is drained and checked for signs of bacteria. Pain management is also advised while you recover.


Cancer in the elbow is rare, but it’s worth knowing what to look for. Synovial sarcoma is the most common of the soft tissue cancers that occur in the elbow. Symptoms include swelling and redness with a bump usually appearing over the bones in the joint. The bones in the elbow may break more easily. Skin cancer can also form one or more lumps at the elbow.

Cervical Radiculopathy

This is a type of referred pain where the pain doesn’t originate in the elbow, but it travels down the arm causing pain and discomfort in other areas. Cervical radiculopathy is a pinched nerve in the neck that impacts the arm and elbow. To treat it, you need to address the pinched nerve by visiting an orthopedic doctor.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

You probably are well aware of carpal tunnel syndrome, a nerve compression syndrome that affects the wrist. There’s also cubital tunnel syndrome that occurs when the ulnar nerve in the back of the elbow is compressed or stretched. Pain and numbness are common in the elbow, forearm, and wrist. 

With cubital tunnel syndrome, you need to stop the behavior that caused it, which is often leaning heavily on your elbows or frequently bending them in activities like sports. 

Distal Biceps

The distal biceps tendon connects the radius bone to the elbow. If it tears due to a sudden injury where the elbow is forced straight, such as lifting a box that’s too heavy for your arm muscles. It’s more common in men aged 30 or older and who smoke or use steroids. Non-invasive treatments are often recommended and include physical therapy and pain management.


Cellulitis is the most common injection in the elbow. It occurs after a cut or puncture wound that allows bacteria to enter it. Signs of cellulitis include pain, redness, swelling, and warmth. Don’t delay seeing a doctor as the infection must be treated. You might need IV treatments or oral antibiotics, depending on the infection.


A fall or blow to the arm can cause a sprain or strain. If it’s bad enough you may also fracture the bones in your elbow. It can be as simple as you’re walking up the stairs and trip and land on an elbow. All of these injuries hurt, and some are worse than others. 

If you dislocate or fracture your elbow, you may need physical therapy to restore use. You also need to find effective ways to manage the pain while it heals.

Tendinitis aka Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow

People who perform repetitive movements with the thumbs and forefingers are more likely to experience tennis elbow. The repetition creates a tiny tear in the joint, which causes pain and swelling. The pain may radiate down the arm to the forearm.

Treatment to help that tear mend is important. Premium Sports & Orthopedics specializes in injuries like tennis elbow and has solutions that help ease the inflammation and discomfort and get you back to your normal activities as quickly as possible.

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure using your own stem cells. Allow 90 minutes to harvest the stem cells from your blood and then several injections over the next few days. The pain and discomfort from tennis elbow diminishes after that series of injections.

What Can a Fresno Orthopedic Doctor Do to Help?

Once you know what’s causing your elbow pain, you’re in a good position to get the appropriate treatment and follow-up care plan. Fresno’s top orthopedic doctor can provide treatments that help ease pain and encourage the body to heal faster. 

Treatments like stem cell therapy, PHP injections, and even dietary measures to help you lose weight and improve your nutritional intake are all possible. You’ll also work with a doctor who specializes in the latest technology and approaches to orthopedic care. Reach us online to book an appointment and get your elbow pain taken care of.

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