September 22, 2020

While new parents are aware of the strain and fatigue parenting causes on your sleep schedule, many don’t realize the physical injuries that can be caused by repetitive activities such as lifting or carrying your baby. Repetitive stress injuries can happen due to overuse of your muscles, tendons, nerves, and other soft tissues and may result in you feeling pain and discomfort and needing to see an Austin Elbow Doctor. What are some of the most common repetitive injuries that cause this type of pain in parents? In today’s blog, we’ll focus on specific injuries to your elbow.

These are the top 3 most common elbow injuries for parents per the Austin Elbow Doctor:

Tendonitis (Also Known As Tennis Elbow)

Tennis elbow is an irritation of the tendon that connects the forearm muscle to the elbow, and while it leads you to believe that only tennis can cause this injury, it can actually have many different causes. While tendonitis can occur in any of your tendons, it’s most common in your shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and heels. Tendonitis is one of the top 3 most common elbow injuries for parents as the repetitive motion of picking up your child can lead to irritation and inflammation of the tendon – whether that be lifting your baby into the crib, lifting your child from the floor, or carrying your child (or their car seat) to and from the car.


Elbow bursitis, also known as olecranon bursitis, is inflammation of the bursa – a sac full of fluid that helps cushion and protect the joint. This condition is commonly caused by trauma (like falling) or built-up pressure from leaning or working on your elbows repeatedly. With bursitis, you may find that the tip of your elbow joint has begun to get red or swollen, and in some severe cases of swelling, a lump could form, jutting out from the tip – kind of like the cartoon character Popeye. That’s why olecranon bursitis is sometimes called “Popeye’s elbow.” If you’ve been leaning against a chair for long periods of time while holding your baby and start to experience these symptoms, we recommend reaching out to an Austin Elbow Doctor to have your elbow examined.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by the compression of your nerve in your hand, wrist, or elbow and causes numbness, tingling, or weakness. When this condition occurs in the elbow, it’s usually due to a compression of the ulnar nerve found on the inside of your elbow and is known specifically as cubital tunnel syndrome. Parents may experience this condition if they are constantly lifting their children or picking up their toys. The repetitive motion of bending your elbow can force the ulnar nerve to stretch and cause irritation and pain to your arm, specifically your pinky finger and ring finger.

While we know parents are tough, that doesn’t mean you have to live with any of these injuries (and the pain that comes along with them!) If you have any questions about an elbow injury or if you’ve been living in pain, give us a call today.