Are you suffering from recurrent elbow, wrist, or hand pain that doesn’t seem to get better? There are several reasons why you may experience pain or stiffness in these areas of the body. We use our elbows, wrists, and hands for driving, preparing food, dressing and much more. As a matter of fact, we rely on these upper extremities for daily living. Contact us for information regarding how our physical therapist can reduce or completely eliminate pain in your elbows, wrists, and hands.
What is Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain?
Pain in your elbows, wrists, or hands can be mild, moderate, or severe. The pain may come and go, depending on a variety of factors including what type of activities you’re engaging in. Besides pain, you may experience tingling, numbness, and difficulty lifting or picking up objects. Pain throughout your arms and hands can have a great impact on your quality of life and how easily you can perform daily activities.
Causes of Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain
- Carpal tunnel – This condition occurs in the wrist where tendons and a primary nerve run along the forearm to the hand. There is extensive pressure on the median nerve that causes pain in your hand. Symptoms can include numbness, burning, and pain throughout the hand. There may be a pain in the wrist that extends to the elbow. You might experience a weakened grip and have problems lifting items. The hand may also become swollen.
- Cubital tunnel – Cubital tunnel syndrome is a narrowing of tissues in the elbow. The ulnar nerve, which runs from the shoulder down the arm and to the wrist, is the primary tissue that is affected by this condition. Symptoms can include weakness in the hands, tingling, or numbness in the pinky and ring fingers, and pain throughout the fingers and hands.
- Bursitis – Bursitis happens when the tiny, fluid-filled sacs that cushion tendons and joints near your bones become inflamed. Bursitis is often caused by overuse and repetitive motions. Bursitis can occur throughout the body including the shoulders and elbows.
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a disease that affects more than 50 million Americans. If you’re suffering from arthritis, this can affect the joints through your elbows, wrists, and hands. This condition can cause varying degrees of pain and stiffness.
- Sprains and Strains – Sprains and strains are some of the most common injuries in sports. Sprains and strains in the hands or the wrists can occur from repetitive use, such as a sports activity, or after a sudden twisting motion or fall.
Common Wrist & Hand Conditions We Treat in Ankeny, IA
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Also called median nerve compression, this condition causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand. Anything that squeezes or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel space may lead to CTS. Burning or itching numbness in your palm, thumb, or index and middle fingers are common symptoms.
Early symptoms of arthritis of the hand include joint pain that may feel dull, or like a burning sensation. The pain often occurs after periods of increased joint use, such as heavy gripping of grasping. The pain may not be present immediately, but may show up hours later or even the following day. Stiffness and pain in the morning is typical.
A condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position, your finger may bend or straighten with a snap, like a trigger being pulled and released. Trigger finger occurs when the affected finger tendon sheath becomes irritated and inflamed. This interferes with the normal gliding motion of the tendon through the sheath. Prolonged irritation can produce scarring, thickening, and the formation of bumps or nodules in the tendon that impede the tendon’s motion even more.
De Quervain’s tenosynivitis
(dih-kwer-VAINS ten-oh-sine-oh-VIE-tis) A painful condition that affects the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis will cause pain with turning of the wrist, grasping, or making a fist.
How Physical Therapy Helps Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain in Ankeny, IA
Physical therapy can effectively reduce or eliminate pain in your elbows, wrists, and hands. It can even help you avoid surgery. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), manual physical therapy may even work better than surgery for conditions such as carpal tunnel. Often a physical therapist will work in conjunction with your primary care doctor to identify the root cause of your pain. A physical therapist will evaluate your condition which can include assessing your flexibility and strength. After a complete evaluation has been made a physical therapist will put together an individualized program to treat your pain. Exercise and stretching may be included to improve your strength and increase the range of motion. A physical therapist may also use heat and ice therapy, massage treatment, or electrical stimulation.
If you’re suffering from pain in your elbows, wrists, or hands, a trained physical therapist may be able to help relieve or completely eliminate your pain. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists. Our physical therapists are committed to helping you improve your quality of life while eliminating your pain!
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“I was experiencing debilitating nerve pain in my hands and arms. I was miserable and was trying to figure out what was wrong without going to a typical doctor. I sought out Dr. Stewart as a recommendation and thought I’d try the route of physical therapy. Turns out, the nerve pain I was feeling was due to stress from life and occupation. Dr. Stewart diagnosed the issue right away and then we got to work focused on how to reduce stress to alleviate and eradicate the symptoms I was experiencing. Dr. Stewart offers a patient first approach and truly wants to get down to the problem, provide therapy, and get us better without having to keep coming back for treatments if they aren’t necessary. I didn’t think physical therapy could help aid in stress management but I’ve learned how to reduce symptoms should they occur and provided me with a plan to continue to work on independently. He also made sure I was 100% better before discharging me. My nerve symptoms went from 75% of the day, painful, to about 10% of the day and I don’t really realize it’s happening. When it does, I engage in the stress management I learned through the sessions. I couldn’t recommend Dr. Stewart any more for any physical therapeutic needs!”
“Professional office, excellent one on one care, caring doctor. The treatments and exercise worked. I could barely walk when I came to my first visit and my mobility was 100% better after six weeks.”