The Elbow, Wrist and Hand

The elbow, wrist and hand work together to let you perform a multitude of gross motor and fine motor activities. Pain in any of these joints can hamper your ability to perform your daily activities and to pursue athletic endeavors without discomfort.


What Causes Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Pain?

Generally, elbow pain can be attributed to wear and tear of the joint, a sports injury or inflammation of the elbow joint brought on by repetitive actions, or a trauma to the elbow joint. Tennis elbow and golfers’ elbow are the most recognized causes of elbow pain. Bursitis can also be a factor in a trauma-related elbow injury.

Hand and wrist pain is most often caused by trauma (e.g. a fall that results in a fracture) or overuse. Common injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.

You are most at risk for elbow, wrist and hand pain if you:

  • Perform repetitive wrist movements (e.g. typing and clerical work, manual labor that requires excessive gripping and lifting activities)
  • Are an athlete who performs repetitive motions
  • Have a recent history of a fall
  • Are over 40 years of age

Common Elbow, Wrist and Hand Conditions

Our Physical Therapists will develop a customized treatment plan to relieve your elbow, wrist or hand pain and to restore mobility. The most common injuries that are effectively treated with physical therapy are:

  • Tennis or Golfers’ Elbow
  • Nerve Injury
  • Ligamentous Injury
  • Fractures
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Bursitis/Arthritis

Treatment Options

Our team of Physical Therapists treats patients using evidence-based treatment techniques that speed recovery time while reducing the risk of recurrence of pain in your elbow, wrist or hand

  • Manual therapy to decrease pain, increase range of motion, and improve function
  • Therapeutic exercises to strengthen hand, arm, shoulder, and scapular muscles that will improve functional movement patterns
  • Functional exercises that are tailored to your activity level
  • Self-management education to reduce chance of recurrence

Common Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Surgeries

Some elbow and wrist/hand conditions do not respond to physical therapy alone. In these instances, surgery is required and physical therapy is a follow-up treatment strategy. The most common surgeries are:

  • Arthroscopy
  • Ligament reconstruction
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Correction of finger deformities

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