Wave Goodbye to Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain With Physical Therapy
Updated: Nov 5, 2021
Managing Your Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain With Athletic Advantage Physical Therapy
There are several reasons why you may be experiencing pain in your arms, whether it’s an injury, ailment, or some sort of other underlying condition. Whatever the case may be, the pain can greatly impact your daily life. Fortunately, our physical therapists can help you find relief by identifying the origin of your pain.
Physical therapy helps to relieve elbow pain, wrist pain and hand pain by examining the mechanics of your joints and muscles. By identifying where you are having limitations, analyzing your daily activities and strength of certain muscle groups, the root cause of your pain can be discovered.
A comprehensive plan is built to improve your range of motion, reduce your pain quickly, soothe stiff and sore muscles and return your strength. In addition, we work with you to educate you on techniques and exercises to prevent future injury or possibly adapt your work environment.
Our physical therapists work with many patients to reduce pain quickly and restore range of motion to the elbow, wrist and hand.
Why do I have elbow, wrist, and hand pain?
Elbow pain can come from a variety of sources, but typically occurs due to an overuse of the elbow joint from repetitive activities. Often bad posture with typing, writing, lifting or sports, makes the tissues around the elbow become irritated.
The elbow actually has quite a few different joints that move in very unique ways. The same bones (radius and ulna) that make up the elbow also form the wrist and play a key role in the movements of the hands. Most of the muscles that make your wrist and fingers move are actually located in the forearm.
Poor posture, repetitive activities such as typing, gripping and twisting can cause tightening in the muscles and tissues of the forearm. This can affect the mobility of the elbow, wrist and even hands. This can lead to chronic inflammation and irritation to these areas.
There are a vast variety of muscles, tendons, bones, and joints that make up your upper extremities. Because of this, it can be difficult to determine exactly where your elbow, wrist, or hand pain is stemming from.
Our physical therapist adds some of the most common conditions that result in this type of pain include:
Arthritis. Arthritis 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.
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 stretch 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 entrapment that can lead to elbow, wrist, and hand pain. It is caused by repetitive pressure on the ulnar nerve, which is located on the inside 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.
Elbow Bursitis. 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.
Tennis Elbow. Although this condition commonly occurs in tennis players, it can happen to anyone who repeatedly extends their wrist, especially in a forceful manner. Many of the muscles that extend the wrist originate on the outside of the elbow, and this is where many tennis players feel their pain.
Golfer’s Elbow. Like tennis elbow, this name is also more exclusive than it should be. This condition is very similar to Tennis Elbow, but it is the exact opposite. Many of the muscles that flex the wrist originate just above the inside of the elbow. Any activity that involves repetitive wrist flexion may lead to Golfer’s elbow.
Sprains/Strains. Sprains and strains to the elbow, wrist, or hand can also result in pain. Sprains involve damage to ligaments, while strains are damage to muscle tissue.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms caused by the conditions above, or if you have persistent pain in your elbow, wrist or hand that won’t seem to go away, contact our physical therapy office as soon as possible, in order to set up a consultation.