Inflammation in the elbow joint may be the result of elbow arthritis, which may be caused by rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that damages the lining surrounding our joints while also destroying our bones, tissue, and joints over time. Osteoarthritis could also be the cause of elbow arthritis and is a progressive condition that slowly damages the cartilage surrounding the ends of our bones. When this happens, our bones rub together, which can lead to pain and irritation.

You may notice pain in the elbow joint area, and stiffness and swelling may start suddenly and gradually increase over time. Additionally, if you are suffering from elbow arthritis, you may find that it is hard to bend or straighten your elbow or that your elbow “locks” during certain motions. These symptoms may become apparent when you lift an object or flex your arm. 

There are several nonsurgical treatment options for arthritis of the elbow, including medications, modifying physical activities, and even physical therapy.