Arthritis in the elbow can make it feel these two ways

What Does Arthritis in the Elbow Feel Like?

Osteoarthritis is a natural result of the aging of joints, and it’s common in many joints, including the knee and hip. In certain people, this type of arthritis can also develop in one or both elbows. People who are at higher risk of developing elbow arthritis typically do repetitive elbow movements. Tennis players are an example of just such a high-risk population because they use repetitive arm movements to swing their rackets. These movements also tend to place more strain on the elbow joint, which can lead to faster wearing. If you’re someone who is at high risk for elbow arthritis, you may want to know about two ways this condition can make your elbow feel. 

  1. Painful

Osteoarthritis in the elbow commonly makes the elbow feel painful, and the root of this pain is the wearing out of joint cartilage that this condition causes. Cartilage is a type of fibrous soft tissue, and it covers the ends of bones where they come together in joints. The job of cartilage is to help reduce friction in the joint. This allows the joint to move smoothly and without pain. When this cartilage breaks down, the elbow bones can start rubbing together as the joint moves. The friction that this creates then causes elbow nerves to send pain signals to the brain. 

  1. Stiff

Arthritis in the elbow can make this joint feel much stiffer than normal. This feeling is also related to the cartilage damage and bone rubbing that osteoarthritis causes. The rubbing together of the elbow bones doesn’t just cause pain; it also leads to inflammation in the joint. This is because the rubbing can irritate other soft tissue in the elbow. Over time, this irritation turns into inflammation, and the inflammation reduces the space between elbow structures. In turn, less space in the joint leads to even more rubbing that can make it much harder to move your elbow. This difficulty moving the elbow can impact your ability to do routine tasks; for example, that raising a glass to your mouth can be much harder to do with an arthritic elbow.

Holland Physical Therapy can help your elbow arthritis feel better

At Holland Physical Therapy, our team has worked with many osteoarthritis patients, and our experience can be used to help your elbow arthritis feel much better. We’ll start you off with a complimentary screening, and this will help us learn what symptoms your arthritis is causing. With this knowledge, our team can build you an individualized therapy plan. Your plan will be designed to benefit you in many ways, and these benefits are possible thanks to therapy techniques such as: 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment to begin treating your elbow arthritis.