Elbow Pain

Samuel S. Abrams, MD

Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeon located in Asheville, Arden, & Hendersonville, NC

Overuse from repetitive arm motions and sports injuries can lead to elbow pain, especially among people who participate in activities like golf, baseball, or tennis. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Samuel S. Abrams, MD, diagnoses and treats elbow pain at three locations in Asheville, Hendersonville, and Arden, North Carolina. If you suffer from elbow pain, call or book an appointment online today.

Elbow Pain Q & A

What causes elbow pain?

Elbow pain can make it difficult to use your arm for athletic pursuits as well as everyday activities. Dr. Abrams treats a wide variety of conditions that cause elbow pain, including:


There are many types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common to affect the elbow. Osteoarthritis is when the cartilage in a joint wears down over time. In addition to pain, elbow osteoarthritis may cause difficulty bending your elbow and a grating sound during movement.

Tendon injuries

Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) and golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) are two common sources of elbow pain. These injuries are usually due to repetitive hand and arm motions. This can come from manual labor like swinging a hammer, light work like typing on a computer, or recreation like swinging a golf club. 

Olecranon bursitis

The olecranon is the pointy bone of your elbow. Bursitis is inflammation in the small, fluid-filled sacs that protect your joints. Also known as student’s elbow, olecranon bursitis may result from leaning on the elbow for a long time, or from a blow to the elbow. 

Fractures and dislocations

A fall or traumatic injury can cause an elbow fracture or dislocation. A fracture is a break or crack in the bone, and a dislocation is when a bone moves out of place. 

Ligament injuries

An elbow sprain may occur when a ligament stretches too far. A severe sprain may cause the ligament to rupture partially or completely. An ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear is a common elbow ligament injury in overhead throwing athletes

What are the methods for diagnosing elbow pain?

First, Dr. Abrams asks about your elbow pain, including what activities cause symptoms and where the pain occurs. He also reviews your medical history as well as your occupational risk factors and sports participation. 

Dr. Abrams carefully examines your elbow. He may also take tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. These tests help him confirm your diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment. 

What treatments are available for elbow pain?

Dr. Abrams takes a conservative and collaborative approach to treatment. He explores all possible nonsurgical treatments and considers your unique lifestyle factors. Depending on your needs, treatment for elbow pain may include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Activity modification
  • Bracing
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Injections
  • Ultrasound, dry needling

If your condition is severe, or if your elbow pain and symptoms persist despite treatment, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Abrams uses minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.

For relief from elbow pain, call Samuel S. Abrams, MD, or book an appointment online today.