Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain Relief
Upper Extremities Bothering You? Find Relief for Your Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pains Today
Fractures are a common source of wrist and hand injuries and their need for PT varies depending on age and the severity of the fracture. Physical therapy is very effective in working loose the small joints in the hand and wrist in those situations with lingering pain and loss of motion.
The hand itself is a very interesting structure since it often lives in a flexed or gripped state. Life demands a grip to function and even when sleeping the hand will often be found to hold a gripped position. As a result, muscle imbalances are very common in the hand/forearm area. Physical therapy can be very helpful to assist someone in overcoming these imbalances which can result in renewed motion and dexterity. This is especially common in the aging process where often one’s stiffness is often attributed to “arthritis”. The best way to know if physical therapy can help is to get an evaluation. PT provides good action steps and gives someone renewed optimism for better functional use of their hands and fingers.
The highest percentages of elbow problems outside of fractures are commonly termed “tennis and golfer’s elbow”. These conditions are typically related to repetitive stress from sports as the names imply or from gripping/work situations. The medical term for these two conditions is called epicondylitis and they can become debilitating if not addressed quickly. Tied closely to the treatment of these problems is education and equipment modification to unload the stress concentrating on the elbow. Full Potential Physical therapy provides a comprehensive approach to handling these conditions which includes looking at the patient’s overall posture and how it can affect stress concentrating on the distal arm.
What’s causing my elbow, wrist, or hand pain?
Several joints, bones, muscles, and tendons make up your upper extremities. Because of their complex nature, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out where the pain is stemming from.
A few of the most common conditions leading to elbow, wrist, or hand pain include:
At the end of everyone’s elbow is a fluid-filled sac called the “bursa” that serves as a cushion to the elbow bone, also known as the “ulna.” Bursitis can occur when the bursa is compressed due to an injury or repetitive motion, resulting in pain and swelling. Because of this, it is common to see this condition in athletes and students. Elbow pain can be called many things, depending on what activity caused the pain. For example, a tennis player may refer to their elbow pain as “tennis elbow,” a golfer may call their elbow pain “golfer’s elbow,” and a student may say they have “student’s elbow.”
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS).
The American Physical Therapy Association states that carpal tunnel syndrome impacts approximately 5% of all Americans. The main job of the carpal tunnel is to protect the median nerve on the inside of your wrist, as well as the tendons you use to bend your fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the carpal tunnel becomes constricted or pinched, which can result in pain within the nerve that can extend throughout your entire arm. A constricted carpal tunnel is typically caused by an injury or by repetitive job-related use, such as assembly-line work, keyboard-heavy work, or driving heavy machinery.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.
Much like carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome is another common form of nerve damage that can lead to elbow, wrist, and hand pain. It is caused by repetitive pressure on the ulnar nerve, which is located on the outside of your elbow and is commonly referred to as the “funny bone.” When pressure is put on the cubital tunnel and surrounding nerves, it can cause tingling, numbness, and pain.
Arthritis is very common and affects approximately 53 million Americans. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the most common form of disability in the United States. There are many different forms of arthritis, but it is typically caused by repetitive motions or an injury that impacts the cartilage within the joints of your elbow, wrist, or hand.
Sprains and strains to the elbow, wrist, or hand can also result in pain.
Why do I have these symptoms?
Most upper extremity injuries result in short-term pain; however, if your pain lingers for three months or longer, it is considered chronic. Chronic pain may indicate a deeper issue that needs addressing.
Elbow, wrist, and hand pain may range from mild to severe, and it may come and go throughout the day. It is also common to feel a tingling or numb sensation, especially in the fingers. Depending on the severity of your condition or injury, it may also limit the way you perform your daily tasks at home and work.
If elbow, wrist, or hand pain is limiting your daily life, don’t hesitate to consult with one of our Holland, MI physical therapists as soon as possible to find the relief you seek.
Delaying care is allowing the damaged tissues to become more involved, pain going on longer than three months is saying the body cannot overcome the problem and it needs some help.
If elbow, wrist, or hand pain is limiting your daily life, don’t hesitate to get a free consult at Holland, MI to learn more about your condition and the treatment options available. Just call and schedule.