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Get a Handle on Shoulder, Elbow, & Wrist Pain

Understanding Shoulder, Elbow & Wrist Pain

Identifying the cause of your pain and taking steps to combat ill habits that may be contributing to your discomfort can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Wave goodbye to pain in your hands, shoulders, elbows, and wrists with targeted techniques from your experienced physical therapists.

What is Causing the Pain? Think about the tasks that make up the majority of your day-to-day life. It is often said that life in the 21st century is way easier on the body than life during any other time in human history, and it’s true that there is a fair amount of evidence to support this idea. Rather than spending all of your days working in a factory or on a farm, the vast majority of Americans work indoors, often at a computer for a predetermined number of hours week after week. But this new lifestyle isn’t exactly harmless for the body, either. Sedentary lifestyles frequently contribute to weight gain, which increases your risk for a long list of obesity-related diseases. This puts additional stress on your body, which could result in pain in crucial joints like your shoulders, elbows, and yes, even your wrists.

While it is sometimes possible to take action to prevent an injury from developing, it is especially important to be able to recognize when an injury develops and to understand ways that you can combat that injury by identifying what may have caused the pain to develop in the first place.

Common issues that can lead to shoulder, elbow, and wrist pain include:

  • Issues with poor posture
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, which can develop from overuse of the wrist and regular, repetitive motions, such as typing
  • Heavy lifting
  • Athletic injuries
  • Muscle sprain
  • Muscle strain
  • Dislocation or hyperextension of the joints

One of the biggest concerns regarding pain in the shoulder, elbow, and wrist is that it is difficult to impossible to actually allow these parts of the body time to rest. Every movement and action require these body parts — and when the pain develops in both arms, as it often does, treating the pain becomes even more complicated. It is impossible to care for your basic needs without involving your shoulder or wrist, let alone get through a day at the office. This is why so many issues regarding pain in the shoulder, elbows, and wrists typically become chronic. Since it is difficult to allow these body parts time to properly rest, they continue being overused and the pain can actually worsen.

Treating Shoulder, Elbow, and Wrist Pain:

Addressing the pain early on is the best way to prevent an issue from becoming chronic. Turning to medication and braces for pain management is not a long-term solution and will only push off the inevitable truth — that you need to find a solution for the problem that is causing you pain. Physical therapy is an ideal tool for support in this regard. Working with a physical or occupational therapist will provide you with an opportunity to understand what movements may be causing further discomfort and can help you to strengthen the surrounding muscles while improving range of motion, which together will likely alleviate some of the pain associated with your injury. Don’t assume that pain in your shoulder, elbows, or wrists will go away on its own. It is more common for the pain to worsen and compensating for the pain by overusing the opposite arm can cause further injury to develop. For support with learning how to manage pain, and to learn exercises and techniques that can help you overcome injury and restore proper strength and functionality to your shoulders, elbows, and wrists, contact a physical therapist.

If you have questions, feel free to give our office a call at (941) 408-0670