Pain in the elbow, wrist, and hand can make it difficult to go about daily tasks. Whether you are driving, chopping up vegetables for dinner, or just opening a door, you need your elbows, wrists, and hands to get the job done. When you are experiencing pain or stiffness in these parts of your body, it can cause you to stop doing the things you normally do. Fortunately, physical therapy can help. If you are struggling with pain in your elbow, wrist, and hand, please let us know. Our Tucson physical therapy team can help you minimize the pain and regain the use of your extremities.
Understanding Elbow, Wrist And Hand Pain
As with all types of pain, the pain you experience in your elbow, wrist or hand may vary in intensity and sensation. The variations in the way you feel can be caused by a number of things, especially the use of these body parts. Moving them, particularly in ways that are not ideal, can cause the pain to flare up. Sometimes, the sensation of pain can be accompanied by tingling, numbness and even a loss of function. You may not be able to pick things up, to lift things or to use your body to do everyday activities.
What Causes Elbow, Wrist And Hand Pain?
The elbow, wrist, and hand are all quite complex and are fragile in many ways. Injury, repetitive use, and degenerative conditions can all have a negative impact on these parts of your body. Some of the most common reasons for pain in the elbow, wrist, and hand include:
The condition of cubital tunnel occurs when the tissues in your elbow begin to narrow, putting pressure on the ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve travels down from the shoulder and into the wrist, so when it is affected, it can cause sensations like tingling and numbness. The hand may become weak and difficult to use.
More than 50 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis, as indicated by the Arthritis Foundation. A common symptom of arthritis is pain and stiffness in joints like the hands and wrists.
Bursa are small sacs filled with fluid that provide cushioning for the joints and tendons. It is possible for these sacs to become inflamed, which can lead to pain. Most of the time, bursitis is caused by overuse and/or repetitive motions. Since the bursa can be found in many different joints, it is possible to experience bursitis in your elbow and wrist.
Most people have heard of carpal tunnel, as it is an extremely common condition affecting those who perform repetitive motions at work — like typing on a keyboard. Pain, tingling, numbness, and burning are all possible with carpal tunnel and are generally felt in the elbow, wrist, and hand. It can result in loss of function in the hand if left untreated.
Sprains And Strains
The muscles and tendons in the elbow, wrist, and hand can all be sprained and/or strained. These injuries tend to happen due to repetitive use or sudden injuries, like sports injuries or falls.
What Physical Therapy Can Do
Physical therapy is an ideal treatment option for pain in the elbow, wrist, and hand. It can often work as well or better than surgery for eliminating pain. And if surgery is required, physical therapy both before and after the surgery can greatly increase the rate of recovery following the operation.
When you see a Tucson physical therapist for treatment, he or she will examine your injury carefully to determine what the cause is and to clarify what you should do, and should not do, to ensure proper healing. The physical therapist will give you targeted exercises to be done with the therapist and at home to make you stronger and more mobile. He or she will also give you important advice on things to avoid, like harmful movements, to make sure your injury does not get worse.