Elbow, Forearm Pain

Elbow or Forearm Pain is most often caused by:

    Traumatic incident(i.e. landing from height on hands, lifting heavy weight).
Without trauma (bursitis, tennis elbow, repetitious work, poor posture, muscle  
                             imbalance, muscle weakness, repetitious gripping).

Elbow, Forearm pain is usually caused from one of the following:

  • Ligament Sprain (Medial, Lateral, Joint Capsule)
  • Nerve Irritation/ Compression / Referred Pain (Radial, Ulnar, Medial, referred pain from the neck or shoulder)
  • Boney degeneration of the Elbow (cartilage damage, bone degeneration, arthritis)
  • Joint stiffness (Elbow, Radio Ulnar)
  • Poor Shoulder or Elbow Biomechanics (Deep rotator)
  • Muscle Tears/Spasm (Muscular- biceps, triceps, deep rotators, musculotendinous junction – extensors, flexors)
  • Tendonitis (Common extensor origin, Common flexor origin)
  • Anterior (front) or Posterior (rear) Impingement (Elbow Joint)
  • Joint or Bone fracture (olecranon/ radial head or neck, supracoldylar, ulnar) / cartilage damage
  • Dislocation of Elbow Joint
  • Subluxation / Dislocation of tendon(s)
  • Bursitis(CEO, CFO)
  • Avulsion Injury (pulling off a piece of bone)


The most common injuries of the Elbow are Tennis and Golfers Elbow. These are tendinopathies that result from repetitious loading of the forearm muscles. This leads to degeneration of the tendon where it attaches to the bone and/or fluid leaking from micro tears in the muscles and tendons accumulates around the insertion and bursae.

If your Elbow or Forearm hurts, don’t ignore it. Physiotherapists are well trained to give an accurate diagnosis and treatment the problem. We can refer for MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound or blood test as required. We are able to provide a proven, safe and effective treatment.

Physiotherapy Aims
1) Treat the pain and other symptoms
2) Help identify the causes to prevent recurrence
3) Provide self-management strategies

Treatment: Strong Evidence in Literature
1) Specific elbow, forearm, shoulder, deep elbow rotator strengthening and general
exercise programs
2) Mobilisation, Manipulation and Hands On Therapy – Myofascial Release

(Manipulation is traumatic and should only be used for certain conditions)
3) Acupuncture / Dry Needling
4) Electrotherapy (TENS)

Treatment: Others
1) Postural Modification

(seat supports, taping, body awareness exercises)
2) Hydrotherapy (great supportive environment)
3) Supportive Taping / Bracing
4) Use of Gels, Creams, Hot & Cold

5) Sports Specific Rehabilitation
Elbow pain is very individual due to the large number of structures and factors that contribute to your condition. What works for others may not work for you and you will have to trial various treatments under the guidance of your Physiotherapist to find what works for your particular condition.