Unable to flex and straighten left hypermobile elbow


swollen hypremobile elbow

swollen hypremobile elbow

Hello Joshua, im a 21 yr old female. im a student. after sleeping over my left hand and waking up i felt slightly uncomfortable and thought of it as a sprain. after 3 days the condition worsened and i wasnt able to flex or straighten my arm. i visited my family doctor who gave medicines and it got cured in about 10days. this was in october2010. later around dec 25 i again had the same problem and hence my doctor asked me to consult an orthologist. he started giving me medicines for RA, though my blood report on RA test was negative.

the xrays did show inflammation around the joint. probably synovitis. as there was no improvement i took second opinion. this doctor presumed it to be tendinitis as i had pain when he pressed the point of common extensor. but he still asked me to get an mri scan which didnt say much an only that it may be a cause of infection. the tb test also came neg.

now im not on medication as the doctor wants to see how my wound behaves. he has asked me to exercise ie. to try flexing my arm as much as possible. the problem is whether this is an infection or inflammatory cause ha snot yet been found. i didnt do any sort of exercise or have any injury before having this condition. now its april 2011 and my hand is still not cured. the swelling is slightly reducing due to ice packs but never goes away.so do please help me about this. if its any sort of arthritis wouldnt it be detected in an mri scan?

also what is hypermobility? can it cause this condition? im able to touch my arm with my thumb by bending it. is it hypermobility syndrome?

i have uploaded some pictures. the swelling is now mostly around the joint olecranon process
and what do you suggest for me? please reply to me.

thanking you in advance...


Joshua Answers:

Hi India.

If it's an infection I can't help
you. But if it was an infection I think you'd be complaining of other things like fever, etc.

You don't just wake up with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) one day, though you certainly may have Gluten Intolerance.

Hyper-mobile means that your ligaments don't hold your joints together very firmly. There's a little hypermobile, and there's a lot hypermobile.

If you can go thumb to forearm pretty easy, that's a clue that you're hypermobile. When you straighten good elbow, does it go past straight? past 90 degrees? That would be another clue.

If you are hypermobile, and you slept on your elbow on such a way that the joint was in a dangerous position, and your ligament was overstretched, or the joint capsule got stretched (probably), then it makes sense that your nervous system could flip on a huge Process of Inflammation that would create the swelling and pain.

That would explain all your symptoms, even the pain and swelling coming and going. Now that it's irritated, it can easily get irritated again, or stay irritated, which it is doing.

I'm guessing that Elbow Tendonitis is not your problem, that instead you freaked out your nervous system and now have chronic acute Inflammation.

I suggest an intensive week of Ice Dipping, as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page.

Also, this is a good thread to read: Can't Straighten Elbow

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Unable to flex and straighten left hypermobile elbow

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May 04, 2011
thanks n some more info
by: Anonymous

thanks for ur reply. it ws very educating to me. im thinkng my problem is hypermobility. also i wanted to ask if the ligaments arent holding my joint firmly, is there chance for another joint to get affected? at first glance evryone says its synovitis but still my elbow hasnt been any better. now im not on medication and only use ice packs. is there anything that could be done to strengthen my ligament? i havnt had fever at all, so i cant think of it as an infection too. do educate me more on the gluten problem.
thanking you.


Joshua Comments:

You can't strengthen a ligament, it's already strong. Unfortunately, you can't shorten a ligament once it's been stretched, short of surgery.

Your best bet is to strengthen the muscles so they can hold the joint as firmly as possible.

For Gluten Intolerance, see: Gluten Intolerance

May 06, 2011
queries --- Unable to flex and straighten left hypermobile elbow
by: Anonymous

hello Joshua

i checked out that my right elbow is not hypermobile. n no other joint except my thumb of left hand is hypermobile. can there be a possibility that my left elbow is hypermobile though my right one is not?

moreover i dont think im gluten intolerant. i read the page, i have no symptoms as such.

now im treated taking into consideration the inflammation and not infection. my doctor says it can be anything from infla
mmatory tendinitis or synovitis.

so do help me with my queries.
thanking you in advance.


Joshua Comments:

Yes, it's possible for some joints to be more lax than others.

Or you've just slept on it your entire life and essentially stretched it out, and it's had enough.

So basically, again your doctor has no idea? Not too helpful.

I have been helping your with your queries.

First you have to get rid of the swelling and inflammation.

1. Ice Dipping. LOTS of that.

2. Just like you're pushing water up a hose, massage your arm from wrist to shoulder, literally pushing/draining fluid from the arm.

You need to do this more than you're going to want to. Frequently and often.

May 16, 2011
hi - Unable to flex and straighten left hypermobile elbow
by: Anonymous

hi joshua,

im continuing with the ice packs and the swelling has reduced a bit. but i wanted to ask you that if i do as you said about pushing and massaging so that the fluid drains out, wouldn't it cause more swelling by irritating the part which is already a lot swollen?

im also a lot scared with this problem as even the doctors or the treatment is not being that helpful. its been nearly 5 months.

could this problem stay forever?


Joshua Comments:

It could very well stay around a long time, or forever. Especially if you don't deal with the cause of all the symptoms. Generally, if you put in the time and effort doing the right activities, you can, at worst, greatly minimize the symptoms.

Just massaging and draining the arm won't irritate anything. It might irritate a little, depending on what you're doing and how you're doing it, but the benefits outweigh the risks.

Jun 07, 2011
Hi. Tuberculosis and Tendonitis
by: Anonymous

hello joshua,

recently i underwent a biopsy and its found that i have TB due to which the condition.. i will start my medication from tomorrow.there are some things im doubtful of.
isnt TB contagious?
would it spread to my partner?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

I'm really not the guy to be talking to about this, but yes it is contagious and yes it can spread to your partner, and other people.

Maybe it's a non-contagious kind, I don't know, definitely not my field of expertise.

Call your doctor's office tomorrow first thing in the morning and get answers.

Jun 09, 2011
by: Anonymous

well i found that the lung TB is only contagious...and thats not what i have.my hand is affected..so it isnt contagious

Feb 15, 2012
Regards About Elbow - Original Poster
by: Anonymous

In my opinion I would have them do a staph test. I had a bad infection in my knee that had the same symptoms. I could not bend it or move it at all. Luckily they identified it the day I went, by sight. They didn't have the staph results back until a few days later, but they made the right call that day and saved me from a blood infection and the staph infection spreading to the joint. They said one more day and I would have been in the ER.

I may be way off on this, but I would at least have them test for it. I learned all it takes is one minuscule foreign object with the staph germs on it getting in the skin. I never for a minute thought my knee was infected with staff. I thought it was water or something of that sort. I only finally went to the doctor when one morning I had yellow pus seeping through the skin. I learned a lot from this. I didn't even feel whatever it was that caused my infection, no splinters or anything of that sort. Best they can figure I got it during a floor refinishing job (I'm a carpenter and painter). You may have simply leaned your elbow down on a surface and picked it up, staph can be anywhere.

I hope this helps, if not the best of luck to you in getting better.

I found this completely by accident, I was actually searching for stove pipe elbow fittings. Glad I did though if it helps you.

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