Are You Experiencing Pain In Your Hand, Wrist, or Elbow?
Get Upper Extremity Pain Relief With Physical Therapy
Take a moment and think about your typical morning: you get out of bed, brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, make breakfast, and begin your commute to work.
At this point, how many times do you think you’ve already used your elbows, wrists, and hands? Hundreds of times! Now, if you are doing all this and experiencing pain, it can make everyday mundane activities become really grueling tasks. You might even find it difficult to navigate your own home independently.
You use your elbows, wrists, and hands constantly throughout the day - but nothing will make you realize just how much you use them like feeling the aches and pains within them.
The good news is that fortunately, you can find relief or even experience a full recovery by working with a licensed physical therapist in Monterey. What are you waiting for? Call Full Circle Physical Therapy today and get the help you’ve been needing.
Common causes of hand, elbow, and wrist, and pain
Because our bodies are so complex, there are many reasons you might be experiencing upper extremity pain. Listed below are a few of the most common conditions that may be reason for the pain you are feeling:
Strains refer to muscle or tendon injuries, whereas sprains refer more to the ligaments, which connect bones to one another.
Sprains and strains typically occur from rapid overstretching of the ligaments or tendons, such as a fall on an outstretched arm, or catching something heavy. It may take some time for you to realize you’ve even sustained one of these injuries, as the pain typically takes a day or two to show itself.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms caused by the conditions above, or if you have persistent pain that won’t seem to go away, don’t depend on harmful medications to combat your symptoms.
Contact our office in Monterey as soon as possible for an appointment.
At the end of the elbow is a fluid-filled sac called the “bursa” that serves as a cushion to the elbow bone, or “ulna.” When that bursa is compressed due to an injury or repetitive motion, it can lead to pain and swelling. Because of this, it is common to see this condition in athletes and students.
Golfer’s Elbow/Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow refers to pain on the lateral or outside aspect of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow refers to pain on the medial or inside aspect of the elbow.
Both of these injuries are a result of repetitive use injuries and can be attributed to a variety of different tasks, not just the sports they are named after.
Seeing a physical therapist for these conditions is recommended, because therapy restores the underlying joint and soft tissue limitations that are causing strain to the tendons, and reduces the inflammation quite rapidly.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
Carpal tunnel is a condition you may have heard thrown around in conversation, maybe from someone who uses their hands and wrists a lot for their jobs. Carpal tunnel syndrome impacts approximately 5% of all Americans, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.
The main job of the carpal tunnel is to protect the median nerve on the inside of your wrist, in addition to the tendons you use to bend the fingers. However, it is possible for this tunnel to become constricted, and when it does, nerve compression can result, leading to a variety of symptoms, such as numbness and tingling to the thumb, 1st, and 2nd fingers.
In addition pain to the wrist, hand as well as swelling to the hand and fingers is even possible. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be caused by an injury or by repetitive job-related use, such as assembly-line work, keyboard-heavy work, or jobs that require someone to operate heavy machinery.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a common form of nerve compression damage that can lead to elbow, wrist, and hand pain. This condition is different from carpal tunnel syndrome, and occurs when pressure is put on the cubital tunnel and surrounding nerves.
It is caused by repetitive pressure on the ulnar nerve, which is located inside of the elbow and is known as your “funny bone.” It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling, especially to the ring and pinky fingers.
Arthritis is a very common condition that people of all ages can suffer from. There are many different forms of arthritis, but it is typically caused by repetitive motions or an injury that impacts the cartilage in the joints of the elbow, wrist, or hand.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the most common form of disability in the United States. Physical therapy helps to improve joint motion, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the surrounding supportive muscles.
Common symptoms of elbow, hand, and wrist pain
Some people are better at handling pain than others; everyone deals with pain symptoms differently when it comes to upper extremity pain.
Short-term, acute pain in the elbow, wrist, or hand typically results from an injury, but long-term chronic pain may indicate illness or other underlying factors.
You may consider your pain level to be between mild and severe, and it may also be intermittent, meaning it comes and goes at different points throughout the day. Regardless of your pain level, don’t expect it to disappear on its own. In a majority of cases, the best possible outcome for your pain involves a medical professional getting involved and assessing the situation.
Other symptoms accompanying the pain may include numbness or tingling in the extremities, especially in the fingers, which can make it difficult for you to perform daily activities in a normal fashion, or create issues for you at work depending on the seriousness of your condition.
How can physical therapy help alleviate elbow, wrist, and hand pain?
In many cases, physical therapy treatments can alleviate, or even help you eliminate the need for expensive, invasive surgical procedures and harmful painkillers. Physical therapists are experts in movement and joint disorders, and can not only treat your symptoms but find the root cause of your pain as well!
Our physical therapists create a personalized treatment plan unique to the specific needs of your condition. The advanced treatment options we provide here at Full Circle Physical Therapy can help relieve your pain, restore your range of motion, and get you back to living your normal life. Whatever the cause of your elbow, wrist, or hand pain may be, physical therapy can help you.
Physical therapy may include any combination of specialized treatments, such as manual therapy, pain, and inflammation-reducing modalities, and specific therapeutic exercises to restore strength and pain-free motion.