A joint is where two bones meet. The elbow and wrist are both joints, the elbow connecting the upper arm and forearm, and the wrist more delicately connecting the forearm and the hand. Both elbow pain and wrist pain can result from overuse of the joints, especially in repetitive wrist and elbow movements. If you suffer from either elbow or wrist pain, come see our professionals at Utah Sports and Wellness in Millcreek, Utah.
Lateral epicondylitis, more commonly known as tennis elbow, brings elbow pain and limited mobility. When the tendons in the elbow become overloaded through overuse, they form tiny tears. Elbow pain associated with tennis elbow is not experienced only by tennis players or even athletes. Repetitive wrist movements (typing, painting, cutting meat and vegetables in cooking) can agitate the elbow tendons enough to cause tearing.
Tennis elbow is seen more often in people 30-50 years of age. Rehabilitation exercises, such as we provide at Utah Sports and Wellness, can mitigate elbow pain and strengthen the tendons of the elbow against further injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome describes wrist pain caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a channel at the base of the wrist formed by the carpal bones. The median nerve sits nestled in that channel and regulates the motor functions of the fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome causes wrist pain as well as weakness, numbness, and tingling in the wrist and hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a consequence of repetitive motion irritating the median nerve. Diabetes, arthritis, and obesity are also risk factors. Carpal tunnel syndrome does not tend to heal on its own, getting worse without treatment. Gentle exercises and adjustments to relieve pressure on the wrist as a whole are recommended treatments for carpal tunnel wrist pain.
Trigger finger, or stenosing tenosynovitis, is a condition where one of the fingers contracts into a bent position and cannot extend again. The tendons in the body are surrounded by sheaths, membranes that wrap around them to keep them from adhering to the surrounding fascia while still allowing the tendon to stretch as it needs to. In a case of trigger finger, the space between sheath and the tendon itself narrows due to inflammation.
Noninvasive treatments for trigger finger include rest, splinting, and stretching exercises. Your chiropractor will recommend a regimen that utilizes these and other methods to allow you to regain mobility in your fingers. Seek care immediately if your trigger finger becomes inflamed, a sign of infection.
Dupuytren’s contracture, also known as Dupuytren’s disease, is an atypical thickening of the skin in the palm of the hand where it meets the base of the fingers. It especially affects the ring and little fingers. The skin thickens into a hard lump or band, and it can cause the fingers to pull in toward the palm. This can make basic functions like gripping larger objects painful or even impossible. Though the precise cause is not known, it is linked with smoking and alcohol intake.
Dupuytren’s contracture does not have a cure, though surgery to remove thickened tissue is a common treatment. Our clinic offers rehabilitation practices like the application of heat, stretching and adjusting of the hand, and mild exercises to improve finger range of motion.
Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints. It is a chronic condition in which the cartilage protecting the bones wears away until the bones grate against each other, causing damage. There are three major categories of arthritis: osteoarthritis which is caused by wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis which is systemic throughout the body, and posttraumatic arthritis which develops after an injury.
Arthritis results in stiffness and wrist pain, swelling, weakness, and limited mobility. It has no cure. Work with your chiropractor for recommended lifestyle changes and gentle exercises for increased mobility and mitigated wrist pain.