Shoulder, Elbow & Wrist Pain
Causes of Elbow & Wrist Pain
There are a number of causes for wrist pain, which includes 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 job tasks. Other common causes of elbow include are 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.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
There are several reasons why you could experience an injury or pain in your shoulders. Risk factors for frozen shoulder include having diabetes and having your shoulder immobilized for long periods, such as after a fracture.
Rotator cuff injuries occur most frequently in individuals who move their arms in overhead motions. These repetitive motions are often performed on the job or during sports activities. Sometimes, however, rotator cuff injuries are the result of a single incident.
A dislocated shoulder is when the arm bone actually pops out of the socket in the shoulder blade. This condition is often the result of a fall, a traumatic accident or a sports injury.
Physical Therapy For Elbow & Wrist Pain
FYZICAL offers physical therapy as an effective treatment for elbow and wrist pain. As a matter of fact, it can help you avoid surgery. Often, a physical therapist will 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 goal is to rid you of pain and improve function.
Physical Therapy For Shoulder Pain
If you’re experiencing pain or injury in your shoulders, a physical therapist can evaluate your range of motion and functional abilities. The therapist would then put together an individualized treatment plan to relieve pain and restore mobility. Other goals would include reducing inflammation, decreasing muscle spasms and increasing the healing process. There are several methods a PT could use during treatment:
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
- Heat or ice treatments
- Electrical stimulation
Physical therapy can play a major role in your recovery without having to use invasive methods. Even if surgery is required, physical therapy can help you both before and after to improve healing time and increase your range of motion.