Wrist, Hand and Elbow Pain in Happy Valley

Wrist, Hand and Elbow Injuries:

  • Carpal Tunnel – Inflammation of the tendons that pass through a small tunnel in the base of the palm causing pain, and increased pressure on a nerve that carries sensation and muscle control in parts of the hand. It is most common in people who perform repeated actions with their hands (typing, writing, playing guitar, drawing) and with people who use power tools due to the prolonged grip and vibration of the tool. Some cases will resolve on their own but if there is an underlying cause for the inflammation; retraining how tasks are performed, strengthening of the tendons and relaxation of the connective tissue that creates the carpal tunnel may be necessary. Physical therapy has excellent techniques to help control the pain and allow you to return to activity more quickly.
  • Epicondylitis – or “tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow” is caused by high forces put on the common attachment of the muscles that control the fingers to an area above the elbow, either on the inside or outside of the arm. It typically presents as pain with gripping (more force causing more pain) and with resisted bending or straightening the fingers. Protecting the traumatized tissues at the elbow by changing how we perform daily tasks will cause this to resolve faster; while strengthening the tendons and modifying the mechanics of common activities will prevent it from coming back.
  • Trigger Finger – the fine tendons that control the action of the fingers develop a thickened section, lump or nodule in them and cause increased tension as those tendons pass through connective sheaths in the hand. There is some debate on exactly why thickening happens but it causes the finger to pop back and forth as the tendon passes through the sheath. Some cases can be resolved with physical therapy techniques to decrease swelling and elongate the tendon but other cases may require surgical management.
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