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Pain in elbow during night. Used sprays, ointments. no relief. Suggest medication

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Dear doctor,

I am experiencing pain in my left hand elbow. This pain comes only in the night at bedtime. During the day the pain is not there. I put by bodyweight on my left elbow by sleeping stomach down so that due that weight the pain appears less. This is there for more than 5-6 years. I tried spray's or ointments to reduce pain, but i cannot do this everyday as the pain is almost appearing everyday.

I use laptop for my office work and use mobile phone heavily during office work. I tried using hands free and it was better, but I am not sure if this purely linked with phone usage by holding it in my left hand.

My age : 37 (male)
Cholestrol level: boderline (as per health check up report done 8 months back)
My bp sometimes goes above normal
I am not under any medication
Family history: father died due to heart attach at 60 years age. Mother is alive and healthy.

Posted Sat, 27 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 9 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.

Most likely it can be a case of olecranon bursitis or lateral and medial epicondylitis(tennis or golfer’s elbow). Bursitis is an inflammation of small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help joints move smoothly.

Olecranon bursitis, which affects the olecranon bursa at the back of the elbow, is sometimes called Popeye elbow.Tendonitis is when tendons become inflamed, irritated or suffer microscopic tears.Lateral and medial epicondylitis are tendonitis of outer and inner side of elbow respectively.

I feel that a clinical evaluation by an orthopedician and an x-ray and blood tests are necessary for confirming a diagnosis

Try following these lifestyle measures for relief:

1)     Avoid activities that require you to keep your arm bent for long periods of time
2)     Avoid leaning on your elbow or putting pressure on the inside of your arm
3)     Keep your elbow straight at night when you are sleeping. This can be done by wrapping a towel around your straight elbow or wearing an elbow pad backwards.
4)     Try symptoms are severe then steroid injections and bracing or splinting may help.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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