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View More Conditions: (Click below)

Elbow, Wrist and Hand

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Tennis and Golfer's Elbow

  • Elbow Pain, Wrist Pain, Hand Pain

  • Post Surgery Rehab

  • Sprain / Strain

  • Nerve Injuries

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very common condition that is becoming more frequent as we spend much of our time on the computer or phones. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel in the wrist where major arteries and nerves pass from the forearm into the wrist. One of the primary nerves that pass through this area is called the median nerve. When the ligaments around the carpal tunnel become tight or if there is inflammation present, pressure is applied to the median nerve causing tingling, pain and even loss of sensation to the thumb and first two fingers of the hand. One of the primary causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is poor posture and repetitive activities such as typing at a computer in the wrong position for many hours a day. The direct pressure on the wrist from the desk along with the repetitive movement of the fingers can lead to a tightening of the carpal tunnel ligaments and inflammation. Those at risk of developing carpal tunnel often have neck or shoulder problems on that side that lead to altered posture and movement of the arm. Since the median nerve exits from the neck and passes through the shoulder all the way down to your fingers, carpal tunnel is affected by the flexibility of the nerve higher up.

How Physical Therapy Helps

Physical therapy is one of the first and best lines of defense in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. It is non-invasive and effective in eliminating symptoms quickly and stopping them from returning. At WAV PT, our treatments focus on improving the mobility of the wrist and spacing of the carpal tunnel so the pressure is relieved on the median nerve. Hands on treatments mobilize tight joints and stretch tight ligaments. Ultrasound and other modalities can reduce deep swelling relieving pressure on the nerve. Since the nerve travels from the neck all the way down, it is crucial to address the entire line of connection as well as movement patterns. The use of Manual Therapy and the Gyrotonic Method will create strength with improved range of motion to support the wrist and maintain good posture, helping the normal function of the median nerve. We also focus on long-term results by training you on specific exercises to perform at home and work. Additionally, we train you on proper postural technique to prevent future occurrences. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow is a common term for lateral epicondylitis. You don't have to play tennis to develop this condition, it actually happens frequently with repetitive tasks done in poor postural positions, such as typing at too high of a desk as well as gripping and turning activities using the hand and forearm. The muscles that extend your wrist and fingers actually attach to the bony outside of your elbow. Typically with tennis elbow, severe tenderness will be present around the bony area on the outside of the elbow. This can cause pain with gripping objects, lifting objects, twisting of the forearm and more. What is Golfer's Elbow?

Golfer's elbow is a general term for medial epicondylitis. This is similar to tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), except that it is on the inside bony area of the elbow. Reasons for this occurring are similar to that of tennis elbow where there is an overuse of the muscles that flex your wrist and fingers. These muscle tendons attach to the inside elbow bony area, and overuse results in irritation. How Physical Therapy Helps

Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow can be treated very effectively with physical therapy. Modalities such as ultrasound, heat and ice can assist with reducing swelling quickly in the irritated tendons. Furthermore, Manual Therapy for the tissues and joints helps to restore normal joint movement, break up any scar adhesions in the tissue and bring circulation to the area to promote healing. As the pain subsides, the focus is shifted to making sure your proper range of motion in the elbow and wrist are returned to normal. Gentle strengthening programs are started to help support the affected area and regain your strength. In addition, we educate you on proper posture and techniques to manage work and repetitive activities so the condition does not continue. Call us today to discover how we can help quickly relieve your tennis elbow or golfer's elbow pain.

Elbow Pain, Wrist Pain, Hand Pain

Elbow pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but are typically caused due to an overuse of the elbow joint from repetitive activities. Often bad posture with typing, writing, lifting or sports, makes the tissues around the elbow become irritated. The elbow actually has a few different joints that move in very unique ways. The same bones (radius and ulna) that make up the elbow also form the wrist and play a key role in the movements of the hands. Most of the muscles that make your wrist and fingers move are located in the forearm and this can also be a place where nerves can become impinged leading to symptoms downstream in the hand or wrist. Poor posture, repetitive activities such as typing, gripping and twisting can cause tightening in the muscles and tissues of the forearm. This can affect the mobility of the elbow, wrist and even hands. This can lead to chronic inflammation and irritation to these areas.

How Physical Therapy Helps

Physical therapy helps to relieve elbow pain, wrist pain and hand pain by examining the mechanics of your joints and muscles. By identifying where you are having limitations, analyzing your daily activities and imbalances of certain muscle groups, the root cause of your pain can be discovered. A comprehensive plan of care is established including Manual Therapy and specific therapeutic exercises to improve your range of motion, reduce your pain quickly, soothe stiff and sore muscles and return your strength. In addition, we work with you to educate you on techniques and exercises to prevent future injury or possibly adapt your work environment. Call us today to discover how we can help relieve your elbow pain, wrist pain or hand pain.

Post-surgery Rehab

Common surgeries in the elbow, wrist and hand involve repair of the vast amount of tendons and ligaments in these areas. Depending on the type and extent of your surgery, your physician will recommend physical therapy to help you recover completely from your surgical procedure. The fingers, hand and wrist are very tightly packed with tendons, ligaments and intricate structures. This means that swelling is very common in these areas after surgery and can become quite stiff leading to loss of range of motion, gripping, dexterity and normal functioning of the fingers, hand, wrist or elbow. Often with surgical procedures weather to repair soft tissue or bone, you will have a long period of immobilization due to splinting while the repair heals. This prolonged immobilization will also need to be addressed and can make it challenging to regain full range of motion and is crucial part of rehab.

How Physical Therapy

Helps We work closely with your physician and their protocol to ensure a complete recovery from your surgical procedure. Our gentle and specialized hands-on therapy manages the swelling in your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow. The better this swelling is controlled, the faster your recovery can be. Per your surgical rehab protocol, we will progress your range of motion and eventually begin strengthening of the affected areas. Our goal is to make sure you have a complete recovery with good use of your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow for everyday tasks. For more details on our post-surgical rehab program, call us today!

About Nerve Injuries

There are several nerves traveling from the neck down the arm to the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. With injuries to any part of this line of connection nerve damage can result affecting the hand, wrist, forearm or elbow,. Symptoms may be mild such as mild numbness, tingling or abnormal temperature feelings. In severe cases, muscle function and paralysis can occur. Many nerve injuries occur because of overuse and chronic swelling. This doesn't allow proper circulation to the nerves, affecting overall function. Poor posture while doing common activities generally causes overuse injuries and chronic swelling. If you have significant nerve sensations into your arm, wrist or hand, it is important to follow up with us and your physician.

How Physical Therapy Helps

Physical therapy can be very effective in dealing with nerve injuries. Whether mild from a small injury or severe after surgery, as experts, we work with you and your physician to facilitate your recovery. The emphasis of Physical Therapy is on removing pressure from around the nerve by restoring normal tissue movement, joint movement and range of motion. Our hands-on Manual Therapy releases stored chronic tension and improves circulation, while stimulating nerves to restore normal function. Call us today to discover how we help relieve your nerve pain and help to reduce the chance of recurrence.

About Sprain / Strain

Sprains and strains are very common in the hand, wrist and elbow. Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick overstretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement. The first step in treating sprains or strains in the wrist, elbow, hand or fingers is to rest, ice, compress and elevate it. With severe limitations in movement you should come see us right away. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even need surgical repair.

How Physical Therapy Helps

In most cases, Physical Therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured area, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain and begin restoring range of motion. The goal of Physical Therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and eventually restore normal strength. If you participate in sports or are very active, we work closely with you to make sure that we help you fully recover and can participate in those activities you love to do. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.

Are you ready to live pain free?  Schedule an appointment 
with WAV PT in South Orange County today!   

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