Wrist and elbow injuries may not seem that serious, but when you think about your daily activities and how much you use your hands and arms, it’s easy to see how these types of injuries can severely impact your quality of life. When wrist or elbow pain develops, it’s important to seek help quickly to avoid the injury getting worse over time.
These two types of injuries are similar to one another, with the distinction being on which side of the elbow the pain is occurring. In golfer’s elbow, the pain is on the inner side of the elbow, and in tennis elbow, the pain occurs on the outside portion of the arm. In both injuries, the damage is to tendons and muscles that control the wrist and fingers. These injuries occur from overuse during repetitive activities, such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket. These symptoms develop over time with pain extending down the arm into the wrist. Weakness of the hand over time is also common with these injuries. The course of treatment for these injuries involve stretching and strengthening exercises that assist in the gradual repair of damaged tendons and muscles. In most cases, physical therapy can resolve these issues and full range of motion can be restored.
The Carpal Tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist where a major nerve passes through. In patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, the nerve gets compressed as a result of repetitive motions or fluid retention. Fluid retention is a common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome developed during pregnancy. Symptoms start with pain in the wrist and can gradually extend into the hand and fingers, and may result in loss of grip. Physical therapists are trained to identify the limitations associated with carpal tunnel, and manual therapy can help reduce pressure applied to the medial nerve. The goal of therapy is to increase wrist flexibility through joint mobilization of the carpal bones in the wrist and to stretch wrist flexor muscles.
Sprains occur when damage is done to the ligaments or joints, strains occur when the tendons are stretched or torn. These types of injuries are common in wrists and elbows, and may be the result of falling on an outstretched hand. Physical therapy treatments for strains and sprains include pain management exercises, gentle joint mobilization to improve range of motion, exercises to improve strength and activities to improve daily tasks.
With some wrist and elbow injuries, the pain develops and gradually gets worse over time. It’s important to see the experts at Crafted Physical Therapy early and often to keep pain manageable and prevent injuries from getting worse. If you are ready to schedule an appointment, visit us online or give us a call at (720) 204-4567.