You may not realize how important your hand, wrist, and elbow are until you suffer an injury or develop a condition that causes you pain that limits your ability to work, perform your daily activities at home, or stops you from participating in sports. Fortunately, we can help resolve the pain and disability and get you back to doing these activities.
Here are the more common issues that can affect the hand, wrist, and elbow:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is one of the more common issues of the wrist/hand that presents as a numbness, tingling or weakness in the hand or certain fingers that is caused from a pinched nerve. Prompt physical therapy treatment can help relieve the pain as well as provide work or lifestyle modifications to avoid continued stress to the wrist in order to prevent it from progressing to the point of requiring surgical intervention.
- Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow. Both of these are overuse injuries that cause inflammation and tenderness at either the inside (Golfer’s) or outside (Tennis) of the elbow. Orthopedic specialists may recommend rest, NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), stretching and strengthening exercises. Physical therapy can assist you with this recovery to further reduce inflammation and/or provide you with education and modifications to your activities to prevent further aggravation.
- Arthritis. There are different types of arthritis that can affect the joints in the elbow, wrist, and hand. Typically there is pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage at the ends of bones wears away and bone rubs against bone. The goal of a physical therapy program is to reduce pain, increase the range of motion, strengthen the muscles that support an arthritic joint to keep you mobile.
- Fractures. Fractures to the elbow, wrist or hand can cause pain. Likely, you’ll have to rest your fracture and may even be in a splint or require surgical intervention. This period of immobilization can lead to weakness and loss of range of motion. With the help of a physical therapist, you can learn stretching and strengthening exercises to get you back in the game.