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Does Your Elbow Hurt When You Straighten Your Arm? This Could Be Why

How do I know if my elbow injury is serious?

Despite its diminutive size, the elbow is an essential part of many activities that we take part in daily. This small-but-mighty joint is vital for dressing ourselves, eating, showering and brushing our teeth, among other things. So, if pain occurs in the elbow whenever you straighten your arm, it’s easy to recognize the type of effect it can have on our habits and behaviors.

The elbow’s hinging action actually requires three bones that all work in tandem to give the arm the functionality that it has. Those bones are the humerus, radius and ulna. Pain in the elbow when straightening the arm could be a result of damage to any part of the elbow, including those bones, tendons or muscles.

If you’ve been experiencing this type of pain and you’re curious about what the culprit might be, we have some information below that you should read. Check out these three reasons why you may have elbow pain when straightening your arm.

Tennis elbow – “But I don’t even play tennis,” you might be saying to yourself. The reason this condition is called tennis elbow is that it frequently occurs in tennis players, but tennis elbow can happen to anyone. Tennis elbow is the result of inflammation of the tendon that attaches your elbow bone to muscles controlling your wrist and fingers. It’s often caused by overuse or overexertion, like swinging a tennis racket, which leaves the tendon irritated and inflamed.

Bursitis – Your joints have tiny sacs of fluid floating around that are called bursae, and inflammation of those bursae is what’s known as bursitis. The role of the bursae is to prevent friction from tendons rubbing against nearby bones and muscles—but when the elbow is overused, those bursae become inflamed and can produce pain when the arm is straightened.

Biceps tendinitis – We’re all aware of the biceps, the large muscle that lies on the front of the upper arm. However, what you may not be aware of is that the pain you’re feeling could be from biceps tendinitis. This condition is the result of inflammation of the biceps tendon, which connects the biceps muscle to the inside of the elbow. In severe cases, this tendon can actually rapture, causing excruciating pain.

We should point out that elbow pain can also be triggered by dislocation from a fall or other trauma. But that type of injury is rare, so if you’re dealing with pain when you straighten your arm, chances are it’s because of one of the three reasons above.

We know that living through elbow pain can be miserable, which is why we want to help. Agile Virtual PT offers evidence-based physical therapy treatments for elbow pain online with the help of video communication and a self-service web portal.

Virtual physical therapy can be especially helpful for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable driving because of their elbow pain. With Agile Virtual PT, you will receive physical therapy that’s tailored to your specific injury without having to leave your living room.

If you’re interested in learning how our virtual physical therapy can help relieve your constant elbow pain, schedule your appointment with an Agile Virtual PT provider today.