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Tattoos and pain go hand-in-hand. There's simply no getting around the fact that having needles plunge into your body thousands of times will cause you some discomfort, but as all tattooed people will tell you, some places hurt more than others. The elbow is one of these special spots, with many people describing the pain as excruciating. There's even a term for how swollen the area gets after a tattoo—swelbow. 

Yet, as you're about to experience as you peruse the gallery below, the pain is worth it. Elbow tattoos are exceedingly cool looking. Whether it's the standard issue spider web circling the arm or a detailed mandala covering the entire joint, the elbow is one of those spots that allows the tattooer to show how clever they can get. 

Anybody can come up with a design for a thigh. It's big, it's relatively flat and it doesn't move—a tattooer can do pretty much whatever they want with it. An elbow is the exact opposite of that. Elbows bend. Elbows are pointy. There is little to no fat on an elbow, just bone. They're always a challenge to work with and are a huge pain in the ass. But in the end, when you're looking at the finished product, all the pain (for the client) and anguish (for the tattoo artist) are completely worth it. 

In the gallery below you'll see some of our very favorite elbow tattoos. We also threw a little love to the elbow ditch because that's not walk in the park either. If you've been waffling about going through the pain of an elbow tattoo, consider this gallery to be a prime example of why you should power through the pain and get one.