Elbow, Wrist & Hand Pain

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Elbow, Wrist & Hand Pain

We use our elbows, wrists and hands for many everyday activites, including: driving, preparing food, dressing and much more. We rely on these upper extremities and pain in your elbows, wrists or hands can limit how you function daily.

Causes of Elbow, Wrist & Hand Pain

There are a number of causes for wrist and hand pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel is a type of hand nerve entrapment. It occurs in the wrists where a nerve and tendons extend from the forearm to the hand. Carpal tunnel causes pressure on the median nerve. Its symptoms include:

  • Pain, burning, and numbness in the hand
  • Pain in the wrist, which can extend to the elbow
  • Swollen hand
  • Weakened grip and problems with lifting small items

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a narrowing of the tissue in the elbow, which is comprised of the ulnar nerve. This nerve runs from the shoulder to the wrist. The symptoms include:

  • Tingling and numbness in the ring and pinky fingers
  • Weakness in the hands
  • Pain in the hands and fingers

Elbow pain is often caused by overuse from sports and repetitive tasks. Additional common causes of elbow pain include: bursitis, dislocated elbow, golfer’s elbow, osteoarthritis, sprains, strains, arthritis, and tendinitis.

Bursitis occurs when the small, fluid-filled sacs become inflamed. It’s the sacs that cushion the muscles, tendons, and bones near the joints. It’s a painful condition. Osteoarthritis affects about 27 million people in America. It can affect the joints in the elbows, wrists, and hands. The cartilage begins to wear away and bones rub against each other leading to pain when you have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is also referred to as degenerative arthritis. Tendonitis is a swelling of a tendon. A tendon is a thick fibrous cord that connects muscle to bone. It’s most common in the elbows and wrists. Other names for tendonitis are tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, swimmer shoulder and pitcher’s shoulder.

Physical Therapy for Elbow, Wrist & Hand Pain

FYZICAL offers physical therapy as an effective treatment for elbow, wrist and hand pain, which can help you avoid surgery. A physical therapist will typically work in conjunction with your primary care doctor to identify the root cause of your pain. Strength and flexibility will also be assessed. After a full evaluation, a physical therapist will use therapeutic techniques to eliminate the pain. After that, the focus will be on building your range of motion. Exercises for strength will also be performed. Passive treatments may include ice therapy, heat therapy, massage therapy or electrical stimulation. The ultimate goal will be to rid you of pain and improve function.