HAND AND ELBOW CONDITIONS TREATED WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center proudly treat patients suffering from countless hand and elbow injuries, pains, sports injuries, degenerative conditions, sprains, strains, fractures, and those preparing for and recovering from surgery. We have a team of expert physical therapists who pride themselves on getting positive results with patients through individualized care and “hands-on” physical therapy. We have successfully rehabilitated acute and chronic injuries, ranging from work and auto accidents to overuse injuries.

Here is a list of just some of the hand and elbow conditions that we treat:

  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • De Quervain’s (Tenosynovitis)
  • Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis)
  • Hand/Elbow Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
  • Nerve Compression Injuries of the Hand and Wrist
  • Overuse Injuries of the Hand and Wrist
  • Pre-Surgery and Post-Surgery Physical Therapy
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Tendonitis (Hand and Elbow)
  • Trigger Finger/Trigger Thumb

BURSITIS

Many people have experienced the pain and inconvenience of bursitis. Bursa are small sacs filled with fluid that cushions bones from other body parts including tendons, muscles and skins. When these small sacs become inflamed and swollen, the condition is known as bursitis. Bursitis in the elbow is typically caused by overusing the joint, though trauma can also cause bursitis. Repetitive motions (painting, sports, etc) may provoke swelling and result in bursitis. Some diseases such as thyroid diseases, gout and diabetes can trigger bursitis. Likewise, infection and arthritis can lead to bursitis of the elbow.

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common and progressive condition caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Many factors, including repeated wrist and hand activity may be responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a passageway that protects a primary nerve to your hand, and to the tendons that allow you to bend your fingers. When the nerve is compressed, the result is carpal tunnel syndrome, which has symptoms of numbness, pain, and possibly weakness in your hand.

COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROME

Chronic pain that affects your hand or arm is known as complex regional pain syndrome and is also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy. This painful condition may develop after surgery, injury, or even following a stroke or a heart attack. Complex regional pain syndrome normally appears with symptoms such as burning or throbbing pain in the arm or hand, swelling of the area, sweaty or cold skin, stiffness, muscle spasm, sensitivity to touch or temperature, atrophy, and a decreased ability to move your hand or arm.

DE QUERVAIN’S (TENOSYNOVITIS)

Tenosynovitis-also called De Quervain’s tenosynovitis-causes pain in the tendons near your wrist adjacent to your thumb. You will likely notice it first appearing as you try to turn your wrist, grab something or even make a fist. Tenosynovitis is thought to be caused by repetitive activity. Sports, gardening, lifting things may irritate and inflame the tendons in this region, resulting in swelling at the base of your thumb, pain at or near the base of your though, or perhaps a feeling that your thumb temporarily becomes stuck when you try to move it.

GOLFERS ELBOW (MEDIAL EPICONDYLITIS)

Golfer’s elbow is the common term for medial epicondylitis, which results in pain on the inner side of your elbow, as the result of overuse or damage of the muscles and tendons in the region. Golfer’s elbow does not affect golfers exclusively. Anyone who uses their wrists repeatedly, or clenches their fingers frequently may develop golfer’s elbow. The pain may occur inside your elbow or may extend to your forearm. You may also notice weakness, numbness, stiffness, and tingling which may also be symptoms of medial epicondylitis. Physical and occupational therapy has been shown to grant relief from the pain caused by golfer’s elbow. Treatments and modalities may include electrical stimulation, iontophoresis, and strengthens.

HAND/ELBOW RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is systemic, autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of joints and joint lining. It may also affect internal organs and vascular systems. Most often, rheumatoid arthritis affects the bilateral joints of the wrists, fingers, ankles, knees or feet. More women than men get rheumatoid arthritis and the age at which it occurs may be as young at 20. Unfortunately rheumatoid arthritis can cause a great deal of disruption to daily live. Chronic pain in the joints does tend to be alleviated by arthritis.

LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS (TENNIS ELBOW)

Tennis elbow is the common term for lateral epicondylitis, a painful condition that arises from overuse of the tendons of the elbow. Suffice to say pay from tennis elbow is not only found in those who play tennis. Anyone who repeats a particular motion that causes overworking of the tendons may develop tennis elbow. Most of the time pain is felt in the area where the tendons from the forearm muscles attach to the outer bony bump of the wrist. In some cases pain may also be felt in the wrist and forearm.

NERVE COMPRESSION INJURIES OF THE HAND AND WRIST

The most common nerve compression injury, also referred to as a nerve entrapment injury is carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common and progressive condition caused by a pinched nerve in the wrist. Many factors, including repeated wrist and hand activity may be responsible for carpal tunnel syndrome. The carpal tunnel is a passageway that protects a primary nerve to your hand, and to the tendons that allow you to bend your fingers. When the nerve is compressed, the result is carpal tunnel syndrome, which has symptoms of numbness, pain, and possibly weakness in your hand.

OVERUSE INJURIES OF THE HAND AND WRIST

Overuse injuries usually occur over time, as the result of repetitive, subtle trauma to the tendons, bones and joints of the arm, wrist and hand. When this occurs, the connective tissue that runs through the arm and into the wrist and hand is repeatedly stretched or torn. Office workers, athletes, avid exercisers, and those who engage in frequent repetitive activity suffer from overuse injuries quite often, and as such patients are treated for overuse injuries by licensed physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists. Modalities that are frequently utilized to treat overuse injuries include ultrasound, deep tissue massage and electrical stimulation to decrease the pain.

PRE-SURGERY AND POST-SURGERY PHYSICAL THERAPY

Our full service physical therapy and rehabilitation centers specialize in pre-surgery and post-operative treatment. Whereas physical therapy following hand or wrist surgery has been recommended for years, new studies have shown that physical therapy prior to surgery may help patients to recover from surgery faster, thereby getting back into their normal routines quicker. Pre-surgery physical therapy generally involves a combination of exercise based physical therapy customized for the specific surgery, and injured area of the body.

REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY

Chronic pain that affects your hand or arm is known as complex regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy. This painful condition may develop after surgery, injury, or even following a stroke or a heart attack. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy normally appears with symptoms such as burning or throbbing pain in the arm or hand, swelling of the area, sweaty or cold skin, stiffness, muscle spasm, sensitivity to touch or temperature, atrophy, and a decreased ability to move your hand or arm.

TENDONITIS (HAND & ELBOW)

Tendonitis means inflammation of the tendons. Tendonitis in the elbow or hand may be called golfer’s elbow which is the common term for medial epicondylitis. This form of tendonitis results in pain on the inner side of your elbow, as the result of overuse or damage of the muscles and tendons in the region. Tendonitis may also be called tennis elbow, which is the common term for lateral epicondylitis. In cases of tennis elbow, most of the time pain is felt in the area where the tendons from the forearm muscles attach to the outer bony bump of the wrist. In some cases pain may also be felt in the wrist and forearm.

TRIGGER FINGER/TRIGGER THUMB

Trigger finger or trigger thumb results from thickening tendons that form nodules, and causes the finger or thumb to “lock” when they are bent. The tendons in your hand and fingers normally glide easily, but when the tendons have become swollen they form the nodule which creates friction. Trigger finger and trigger thumb are experienced with frequency by musicians, factory workers, farmers, gardeners, and others who grasp items for long periods of time, or repeatedly engage in the same activity.