Injuries Unpacked #3: Elbow Ligament Injury

In the third of our Injuries Unpacked series, we’re looking at elbow ligament injury.

Ligaments in the Elbow

The elbow has three main ligaments that help keep it stable during movement. The most common ligament to be injured is the medial collateral ligament that lies on the inside of your elbow.

How does an elbow ligament injury occur?

Elbow ligament injuries can occur due to hyperextension of your elbow after a fall or the application of a strong force causing your lower arm to bend or twist outward. The medial collateral ligament is most commonly damaged through repetitive stress to the inner elbow through movement. This usually occurs in sports involving repetitive throwing or overhead movements such as baseball, volleyball or tennis.


Pain over the particular ligament which is damaged is a common symptom in elbow ligament conditions both during activity and when touched. You may also find it difficult to perform activities where your arm is up over your head and your grip strength may become reduced.

How will a physio diagnose by injury?

A physio will assess where exactly your pain is and analyse what activities are causing your pain. From a thorough history and physical examination, diagnosis of which ligament is causing your problems will be made. There are several special tests a physio can also perform which will help diagnose your injury.

How will I be treated?

Usually a period of rest from the aggravating activity and a personalised physiotherapy program will be enough to help improve your symptoms.

If this sounds like something that you may be experiencing, give the clinic a call and we can help you get back on track.