Elbow & Wrist Pain

  • The elbow is a joint formed by three bones that come together:

    1. Upper arm bone (humerus)
    2. Thinner and longer of the two bones in the forearm (ulna)
    3. Shorter and thicker bone in the forearm (radius)

    What causes elbow pain?

    Elbow pain is typically caused by overuse and sports injuries. The following are some conditions that can cause elbow pain:

    • Medial Epicondylalgia (Golfer's Elbow) - tendinopathy of the inner tendons in the elbow commonly caused by repetitive movements resulting from work or household chores, a baseball pitcher's repetitive throwing motion and golfer's downward swing of a golf club.
    • Lateral Epicondylalgia (Tennis Elbow) - tendinopathy of the tendons on the outside of the elbow commonly caused by repetitive movements into extension similar to what happens during the loading phase of a forehand in tennis.
    • Olecranon Bursitis (Student's Elbow, Miner's Elbow, Draftsman's Elbow) - irritation of the small sacs of fluid (bursae) that help protect the pointed elbow bone typically caused by trauma (e.g., falling on the elbow or hitting it on a hard surface).
    • Osteoarthritis (OA) - damage and deterioration of the cartilage (connective tissue in the joints) typically age-related but can also be due to a previous injury (e.g., elbow fracture).
    • Elbow Sprain – Irritation to the liagaments in the elbow (band of tissue that connects bone to bone) that can result from trauma or overuse.
    • Elbow Dislocation - a traumatic event that causes a disassociation of two bones. This is most commonly caused by catching yourself during a fall or when you swing a toddler by the forearms (nursemaid's elbow).
    • Elbow Fracture - when a bone cracks or breaks typically resulting from a sudden blow (e.g., an auto accident or contact sports injury).
    • Osteochondritis Dissecans (Panner's Disease) - small pieces of cartilage and bone become dislodged in the elbow joint typically resulting from a sports injury.

    Our physical therapists (PTs) are experts in the evaluation and treatment of elbow pain and dysfunctions. Our therapists at King Physical Therapy & Fitness are highly trained to provide quality, expert care in a family friendly atmosphere.

  • The wrist is also called the carpus. It is a complex joint between five metacarpal bones of the hand and the wrist (radiocarpal), which is joint between the radius (shorter of the two forearm bones on the thumb side of the arm) and ulna (longer of the forearm bones on the thumb side of the arm) bones of the forearm.

    What causes wrist pain?

    Wrist pain can be caused by sprins or fractures from a fall or other sudden injury. It can also be caused by chronic issues, such as repetitive stress, arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Ulnar wrist pain and Radial wrist pain are usually caused by a scapholunate ligament sprain, partial tear or complete tear typically resulting from a fall onto an outstretched hand (FOOSH).

    Other common causes of wrist pain include:

    • Tumors including Glomus Tumor, Ganglion Cyst, Osteochondroma
    • Carpal Instability
    • Distal Radius Fracture (a fracture at the end of the radius bone near the wrist joint)
    • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
    • Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

    Physical Therapy for Wrist Pain

    You may be referred to physical therapy for conservative care of acute or chronic symptoms. People are also referred before surgery for pre-operative (pre-surgical) therapy and/or post-operative (post-surgical) therapy to help with recovery and return of function.

    If you are referred for therapy, remember that you can choose where you get your care even if the referring physician refers you to another therapy practice. Choose us for your wrist therapy needs.