Arthritis, whether it is osteoarthritis or an inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also affect the elbow, (like the shoulder, knee and almost any joint).
Arthritis leads to pain and stiffness and often swelling. This can affect a patients function and activity. It can often affect sleep.
The different types of arthritis often increase with age, although inflammatory arthritis like Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at a younger age
The conditions are diagnosed by an X-ray, but sometimes special blood tests and scans are required.
Treatment depends on various factors but often simple painkillers including anti-inflammatories or modifying daily activities may help. Sometimes more complex medicines are required (rheumatoid arthritis).
If these don’t work, then physiotherapy, or injections can often improve things significantly. Sometimes surgery is required, and this could be in the form of simple Elbow Arthroscopy: or more complex procedures like Joint replacement surgery.
Ask your elbow doctor / specialist for more information if required, when you see him.