Internal elbow pain: How to treat it?


Repetitive actions such as throwing a ball, lifting weights, and typing can all cause pain on the inside of the elbow. These pains are particularly common in athletes and are often caused by medial epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”. Pain on the inside of the elbow usually spreads from the muscles on the inside of the arm, to the elbow joint, and to the hand. It can be painful when bending the elbow or when relaxed. People who do sports or work that involves repetitive motions, such as lifting weights or using a hammer, have an increased risk of developing internal elbow pain.

People can prevent and treat inner elbow pain with rest, medication, ice, and strengthening exercises. Working with a physical therapist can be helpful. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary.

Causes of internal elbow pain

Internal elbow pain is caused by a a number of things. It often results from inflammation of soft tissues, including ligaments and tendons. One of the most common causes of inner elbow pain is medial tennis elbow, also known as “golfer’s elbow.” This is a form of tendonitis affecting both the muscles of the forearm and the tendons on the inside of the elbow. People with this condition have pain that extends from the elbow to the wrist on the inside of the arm.

Golfer’s elbow is an overuse injury. Overuse injuries occur when a person does too many things that their body is not prepared for. In people with golfer’s elbow, the tendons and ligaments are strained when too much force is used to bend the wrist towards the palm.

The following types of movements can cause pain inside the elbow:

– serving a tennis ball

– throwing a javelin

– carry a heavy suitcase

– chop wood with an ax

– use a chainsaw

– lift heavy objects.

If a person performs these repetitive movements, she may experience swelling and pain on the inside of her elbow. Weak shoulder and wrist muscles can contribute to the development of this condition.

Related symptoms of inner elbow pain

D Other symptoms may accompany golfer’s elbow. These symptoms can be felt during activity or at rest. A person may find that bending the wrist towards the palm can trigger pain on the inside of the elbow. Clenching your fist can also be painful.

Symptoms of medial epicondylitis include:

– pain that spreads from the elbow to the wrist

– tenderness of the inside of the elbow

– weakness or tightness inside the elbow

– difficulty moving the elbow or hand

– difficulty grasping objects.

Pain on the outside of the arm is a common symptom of lateral epicondylitis, or “tennis elbow”. It is also an overuse injury affecting the soft tissues of the arm.

Treatment of internal elbow pain

Treatment of Internal elbow pain depends on the cause of the injury. In people with golfer’s elbow, the tendons and ligaments in the arm are strained from overuse, causing discomfort. Resting the injured arm is usually the first step in recovery. Once the pain is manageable, the person can practice therapeutic exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the tendons. This helps prevent re-injury. Treatment options vary depending on the person and the injury. Here are some of the ways to treat pain on the inside of the elbow:


In general , if a person has pain on the inside of the elbow, the first step is to stop the activity causing the pain. A person can apply an ice pack or take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to treat symptoms.

Stretching and Strengthening

People may find it helpful to do strengthening exercises. These target the muscles surrounding the injured tendons, which helps the healing process. Improving the strength and endurance of these muscles allows the arm to withstand future stresses.

Here are some exercises:

The wrist flexion stretch

Straighten the injured arm and bend the hand upwards as if you were signaling to someone to “stop”. Use the other arm to gently bring the hand back, until you feel a stretch in the forearm. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Strengthening wrist extension

Place the forearm on a table, palm out of the table and up, holding a light weight. Slowly drop your hand to the floor, then using your wrist, raise the weight back to the starting position. Do up to 10 reps.

Squeeze the stress ball

Grab a rubber stress ball from the hand of the injured arm. Tighten it by working all the fingers and the palm. Repeat 10 times.


If the pain occurs when bending the wrist, it is advisable to wear a splint. A golfer’s elbow brace wraps around the upper part of the forearm. They can be purchased online and at many pharmacies.

Other conditions

If conditions other than golfer’s elbow, such as arthritis , are the cause of pain on the inside of a person’s elbow, the treatments will be different. A doctor will prescribe appropriate medication and physical therapy.

Risk Factors

Less than 1% of people suffer from Tennis Elbow. The people concerned are generally aged from 10 to 60 years. This condition is as common in men as it is in women.

People who regularly play sports such as golf, tennis are at increased risk due to repetitive movements of these sports. Using improper technique or not properly warming up can increase the risk of injury and pain in the inner elbow. People who work in occupations where they regularly use a hammer, chainsaw, or similar tool are also at increased risk. Typing is another repetitive action that can lead to this condition. If a person is already at increased risk of inner elbow pain from work or play, weak muscles in the forearm heighten that risk.


One of the best ways to prevent inner elbow injuries is to strengthen the muscles in the wrist, forearm, and thigh. shoulder.

The following exercises can help you:

– squeezing a tennis ball

– perform wrist curls

– perform reverse wrist curls

Before practicing a sport or working with tools, it is advisable to warm up carefully. Stretching and warming up muscles before strenuous activity can help prevent injury. If a person feels pain while performing an activity, they should stop immediately.

When to contact a doctor

You should see a doctor if the pain inside the elbow does not go away with home treatments such as applying ice packs, taking anti-inflammatories, and doing strengthening and stretching exercises. A doctor can prescribe physical therapy. A professional will assess the person and assign them appropriate therapeutic exercises.

If these treatments do not relieve the pain, a doctor may suggest an injection of corticosteroids. In some cases, he may recommend surgery.


Amin, NH, et al. (2015). Medial epicondylitis: Evaluation and management.

Golfer’s elbow: Overview. (2018).

Medial epicondylitis – golfer’s elbow. (2021).

Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow). (nd).

Shahid, M., et al. (10). Operative treatment improves patient function in recalcitrant medial epicondylitis.

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