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. Just imagine 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, you’ve already used your elbows, wrists, and hands hundreds of times – and you’re still at the beginning of your day!
Whether you’re experiencing pain due to an injury, ailment, or some other underlying condition, it can greatly impact your quality of life. Fortunately, you can find relief or even experience a full recovery by working with a licensed physical therapist. Contact Accelerate Therapy and Performance today if you are interested in finding out more about how our physical therapy treatments can help make your elbow, wrist, and hand pain disappear.
Elbow, wrist, and hand pain – What is it?
Short-term 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.
Other symptoms accompanying the pain may include numbness or tingling in the extremities, especially in the fingers. This can make it difficult for you to physically perform in a range that is normal for you, creating issues with work or completing everyday tasks, depending on the seriousness of your condition.
Where does your elbow, wrist, and hand pain come from?
Your elbows, wrists, and hands are comprised of such a large variety of muscles, tendons, bones, and joints, that it may be difficult to determine exactly where the pain is stemming from. Listed below are a few of the most common conditions that may be the culprit for the pain you are feeling:
- Arthritis: Arthritis is a very common condition that affects approximately 53 million Americans. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, it 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 in the joints of the elbow, wrist, or hand.
- Elbow Bursitis: Elbow pain can be called many things, depending on what caused the pain. For example, a student would say they have “student’s elbow,” a golfer would call their elbow pain “golfer’s elbow,” and a tennis player would refer to their pain as “tennis elbow.” 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 the condition in athletes and students.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): 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, pain can result in the nerve and can stretch throughout your entire arm. It can be 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: Cubital tunnel syndrome is another common form of nerve damage that can lead to elbow, wrist, and hand pain. It is caused by repetitive pressure on the ulnar nerve, which is located inside of the elbow and known as your “funny bone.” When pressure is put on the cubital tunnel and surrounding nerves, it can cause pain, numbness, and tingling.
- Strains/Sprains: Strains and sprains to the elbow, wrist, or hand can also result in pain.
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, contact our office in as soon as possible for a consultation.
How will physical therapy benefit you?
Whatever the cause of your elbow, wrist, or hand pain may be, physical therapy can help you. Our advanced treatments at Accelerate Therapy and Performance can help relieve your pain, restore your range of motion, and get you back to living your normal life. In many cases, physical therapy treatments can even help patients eliminate the need for harmful painkillers or invasive surgical procedures for nerve-damaging conditions like CTS.
Our physical therapists will create a personalized treatment plan unique to the specific needs of your condition. This may include any combination of specialized treatments, such as ice and heat therapies, manual therapy, ultrasound, IASTM, or targeted stretching exercises.
Don’t let elbow, wrist, or hand pain reduce your quality of life any longer!