Consider your typical morning routine: get out of bed, brush your teeth, shower, dress, eat breakfast, and begin your commute to work. How many times do you think you’ve used your elbows, wrists, and hands at this point? Hundreds! Now, if you do all of this while in pain, it can make even the most mundane activities difficult. You may even find it difficult to navigate your own home.
You use your elbows, wrists, and hands all day, but nothing beats feeling the pains within them to make you realize how much you use them.
The good news is that working with a licensed Union Square & Brooklyn physical therapist can help you find relief or even complete recovery. Call our clinic today to get the assistance you’ve been looking for!
Because our bodies are so complex, there are many reasons you might be experiencing upper extremity pain.
Listed below are a few of the most common conditions that may be the reason for the pain you are feeling:
Arthritis is a very common condition that people of all ages are living with. 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.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis is the most common form of disability in the United States. Physical therapy helps to improve joint motion, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the surrounding supportive muscles.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a common form of nerve compression damage that can lead to elbow, wrist, and hand pain. This condition is different from carpal tunnel syndrome and occurs when pressure is put on the cubital tunnel and surrounding nerves.
It is caused by repetitive pressure on the ulnar nerve, which is located inside of the elbow and is known as your “funny bone.” It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling, especially to the ring and pinky fingers.
Carpal tunnel is a condition you may have heard thrown around in conversation, maybe from someone who uses their hands and wrists a lot for their jobs. 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, this tunnel can become constricted, and when it does, nerve compression can result, leading to a variety of symptoms, such as numbness and tingling to the thumb, 1st, and 2nd fingers.
Besides pain to the wrist and hand, swelling to the hand and fingers is even possible. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be caused by an injury or by repetitive job-related use, such as assembly-line work, keyboard-heavy work, or jobs that require someone to operate heavy machinery.
Tennis elbow refers to pain on the lateral or outside aspect of the elbow, whereas golfer’s elbow refers to pain on the medial or inside aspect of the elbow.
Both of these injuries are a result of repetitive use injuries and can be attributed to a variety of different tasks, not just the sports they are named after.
Seeing a physical therapist for these conditions is recommended, because therapy restores the underlying joint and soft tissue limitations that are causing strain to the tendons, and reduces the inflammation quite rapidly.
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 this condition in athletes and students.
Strains refer to muscle or tendon injuries, whereas sprains refer more to the ligaments, which connect bones.
Sprains and strains typically occur from rapid overstretching of the ligaments or tendons, such as a fall on an outstretched arm, or catching something heavy. It may take some time for you to realize you’ve even sustained one of these injuries, as the pain typically takes a day or two to show itself.
When it comes to upper extremity pain, everyone experiences their symptoms differently.
Short-term acute elbow, wrist, or hand pain is usually caused by an injury, but long-term chronic pain may be caused by illness or other underlying factors.
Other symptoms that may accompany the pain include numbness or tingling in the extremities, particularly the fingers, which may make it difficult for you to perform normal daily activities or may cause problems at work, depending on the severity of your condition.
Your pain may be mild to severe, and it may also be intermittent, meaning that it comes and goes at different times throughout the day. No matter how bad your pain is, don’t expect it to go away on its own. In most cases, involving a medical professional who can assess the situation will result in the best possible outcome for your pain.
Physical therapy can reduce or even eliminate the need for costly, invasive surgical procedures, in addition to potentially harmful pain relievers. Physical therapists are experts in movement and joint disorders, and they can treat your symptoms while also determining the source of your pain!
Our Union Square & Brooklyn physical therapists develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your specific condition’s requirements. The advanced treatment options available at Base Physical Therapy can help to relieve your pain, restore your range of motion, and return you to a normal life. Physical therapy can help with any cause of elbow, wrist, or hand pain.
Physical therapy may consist of a variety of specialized treatments, such as manual therapy, pain, and inflammation-reduction methods, and specific therapeutic exercises to restore strength and pain-free movement.
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, don’t depend on harmful medications to combat your symptoms.
It’s time to make a change. If hand, elbow, or wrist pain is affecting your quality of life, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment and meet with one of our dedicated team members.
We are skilled, attentive, and ready to return you to the healthy, physically active life you deserve!