Elbow Pain: When to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon

Elbow Pain

Elbow pain can feel like an inconvenience when it begins to interfere with your daily activities. Often time will ease the discomfort. However, elbow pain can be more serious than just a nagging distraction. So how do you know when to see an orthopaedic surgeon for an assessment and when to trust that time and rest will be enough?


The elbow is a complex joint made up of bones, cartilage, nerves and ligaments. Elbow pain can be caused by a number of different things. Overuse is one of the most common causes of  this type of injury. Doing a repetitive motion such as throwing, lifting or swinging can produce wear and tear on the joint, resulting in pain.

In addition to overuse injuries, other reasons for experiencing pain in your elbow joint include, arthritis, a strain or sprain of the joint, a fracture, a dislocated elbow or trapped nerves. All of these issues can produce pain but the severity can vary significantly. Just as there are many different causes for this type of pain, there are different methods of treatment depending on the diagnosis.

When to See an Orthopaedic Surgeon

If your pain is keeping you from performing daily activities, it is possible that the injury needs medical attention. Trying to care for your elbow pain at home with rest, ice, compression and elevation (R.I.C.E.) can often times be enough. However, when the pain does not subside with these approaches, it is likely necessary to see an orthopaedic surgeon. If you are experiencing severe pain, swelling and bruising or are unable to fully extend and/or bend your elbow, it would be beneficial to get in to see a doctor. If your pain increases over time, an orthopaedic surgeon could help determine the best treatment plan. When in doubt, it is always wise to rule out anything serious by making a trip to see your doctor.

Yoga and Orthopaedic Injury Prevention

Practicing Yoga

Yoga has many proven benefits. From mental to physical, you can improve many aspects of life no matter your age or ability level. If you already incorporate yoga into your weekly routine, you likely experience the many benefits this exercise has to offer. But did you know how important this practice be for injury prevention?


It is no surprise that exercise can help with overall health and emotional wellbeing. But certain types of exercise have specific benefits that supplement fitness routines like weight training, running, swimming and cycling. Whether you are an athlete or an individual with a low level of physical activity, yoga can offer many advantages.

  • Stretching techniques can ease lower back pain and improve mobility
  • Increased flexibility can help avoid injuries such as strains and overuse injuries
  • Increased muscle tone and core strength can help reduce back pain and injury
  • Improved balance which can prevent falls

Injury Prevention

Orthopaedic injuries can range in severity from a slight sprain to a complex fracture. Some of these injuries are unavoidable but others can be prevented with a little proactive exercise. Many of the benefits of yoga directly impact your body in ways that help prevent injury. Slow movements and stretching combined with deep breathing can warm up your muscles. Incorporating this routine into your daily life, even if for a brief duration of time, can help prevent injury.

An increase in your overall flexibility is important in injury prevention. Along with improved flexibility comes an increase in range of motion. These two benefits go hand-in-hand when it comes to preventing orthopaedic injury as they allow your body to better move in unexpected ways. This is especially important when it comes to preventing falls.

By building muscle through yoga, your are providing your body more stability. A regular routine of yoga will help you improve functional strength by moving numerous muscles and joints at the same time. In addition, yoga helps to strengthen your connective tissues like ligaments and tendons, helping to prevent the likelihood of strains and sprains.

Improving overall balance by focusing on core strength, yoga can decrease the possibility of injury from a slip or fall. This becomes increasingly important and people age.

Starting a Yoga Routine

As with any other type of exercise program, it is always recommended that you consult your doctor first. There is a wide variety of types of yoga and finding the right one for you is essential.