Attention Athletes: How to Protect Your Elbows from Injury

One of the most common types of injuries athletes experience are injuries relating to overuse of one particular body part. During the spring and summer months, baseball/softball players, tennis players, etc….may experience elbow injuries due to the repetitive motion their arms and elbows perform.

These injuries often occur over time and develop through repeated movements especially when the joint and muscles aren’t given sufficient time to rest and heal between games and practices.

A normal elbow is where your humerus, which is your upper arm, and the radius and ulna, your lower arm, meet. These are connected with ligaments, tissue, cartilage, and muscles that allow your elbow joint to be a hinge for bending and a pivot that allows your lower arm to twist and rotate. When the pitcher throws the ball, they are using both functions of the elbow to get it just right, and they do it over and over throughout the games. Each time is adding more stress to the joint that requires some time to heal. When the elbow doesn’t get this time, it can mean serious injury.

Some common elbow injuries that occur include flexor tendinitis, ulnar collateral ligament injury, valgus extension overload, stress fractures, and ulnar neuritis. Many of these happen when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments become overstressed. In many cases, these present with severe pain.

If you are or have experienced severe pain in your elbow, you should consult an orthopaedic specialist. A doctor will take a look at your medical history, do a physical examination of your elbow, and conduct some tests to confirm the extent of the injury.

This article is brought to you by Dr. Brandon Downs, of Orthopaedic Specialists, specializing in knee, hip and shoulder pain. Find Dr.Downs in Nashville, Dickson and Ashland City and online at


1912 Charlotte Ave, Nashville 37203, (615) 590-8000
415 Henslee Drive, Dickson 37055, (615) 375-8287
313 North Main Street, Ashland City 37015, (615) 590-8000