Sharp elbow pain may result from a number of causes which affect the surrounding joints or tissues, and usually revolve around some type of injury which promotes inflammation and pain. Very rarely is sharp elbow pain seen in individuals by random chance, as this condition is mainly caused by those who perform constant activity involving the straining of wrists or elbows. Pain in the elbow is often the result of tendinitis or from tennis elbow, both being an inflammation of the tendons. Acute elbow pain may be blunted by anti-pain medications as the elbow heals, and it also may be treated with anti-inflammatory medications if the sharp elbow pain involves swelling or inflammation to the joints of the elbow.
Many athletes develop sharp elbow pain after constantly thrusting pressure on the hinge of the arm through throwing or hitting motions. Repeated motions of this type of activity, without proper exercises that will stretch and work the muscles, increase the chance of inflaming the tendons that surround the elbow. This condition is called tendinitis, or sometimes tennis elbow, and involves sharp pain in the elbow even when used in minor everyday activities. Inflammation of the tendons often leads to swelling which increases pain, making movement very minimal and almost impossible in severe cases.
Sometimes sharp elbow pain can be seen in those who overuse their wrists without proper precautions, such as gardeners or those who constantly work rotating tools. Although the pain may originate in the wrist, it is very likely that it will travel into the elbow and effect the tendons, leading to soreness and pain. Children may also develop nursemaid's elbow, which is a sharp pain in the elbow due to a pulling force on their outstretched arm. Often this is treated with rest, as the child's recovery rate is much quicker than an adult's.
Treating acute pain in the elbow is often accomplished through abstinence from strenuous activity involving the wrists and elbows, which will help rest the tendons and speed the recovery process. If tendinitis is diagnosed, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed as a treatment to help reduce swelling. Anti-inflammatory foods and herbs may also help bring down inflammation, making this a natural and alternative choice for those not wanting to deal with the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. Over time, a doctor will prescribe simple exercises and movement for the elbow which will help strengthen and heal it even further.