2 The Square at Lillington
Lillington, NC 27546
(910) 893-2850

You likely will never realize how dependent your day to day life is on the functional and pain-free use of your hands, wrists and elbows until you experience an injury or other cause of chronic pain that impedes your ability to do tasks freely and without discomfort. Hand, wrist and elbow pain creates a huge complication in your life, preventing you from being able to engage in the simplest of tasks without discomfort. Depending on the severity of the pain, issues with your hands, wrists or elbows could prevent you from being able to drive, work on the computer, cook dinner, use your phone, do tasks around the house, and so much more.

What makes matters even more complicated is the interconnected nature of your hands and arms. Injury to one part of your hand or arm could cause pain throughout the entire area. Hurting your finger could cause pain in your hand, and a cramp in your palm could lead to discomfort through your wrist and arm.

Leaving hand pain, wrist pain, or elbow pain to heal on its own is a bad idea. Regardless of how hard you try to rest these areas, chances are the constant need to complete even minor tasks will continue to aggravate the pain and may cause you enhanced discomfort. If you experience pain that lasts longer than a day or two, it is a good idea to contact your Physical Therapists to gain understanding about the reason for the pain, and to explore different treatment and pain management options.

Because your hands and arms are so interconnected, a task or injury that involves one part, such as your lower arm, can end up causing everything from finger numbness to elbow pain. Don’t make any assumptions about when the pain will go away. In many situations, minor issues become major setbacks because immediate action wasn’t taken to resolve an injury. A physical therapist can help you sort through the best options for managing your hand, wrist and elbow pain.

There are many different issues that could cause pain to develop in the hands, elbows and wrists. Among them are:

  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis/Golf Elbow
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Hand Pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

One of the leading causes of hand and wrist pain is not prompted by an injury at all, but instead is a result of a chronic condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a debilitating syndrome that causes severe pain in the hand and wrist area. The pain typically feels similar to a deep and intense hand cramp, but is not actually caused by any cramping and so it’s not as easily resolved.

Carpal tunnel syndrome develops as a result of heightened stress on the median nerve, often caused by highly repetitive movements with the hand and wrist. Some of the most common tasks that cause carpal tunnel syndrome include typing, writing, playing video games, gardening, and anything else that requires repetitive lifting or other hand movements. Carpal tunnel causes severe pain in the hand and wrists often causing numbness or tingling to develop in the fingers. Those who are most at risk of developing CTS are those who work in a capacity that requires them to constantly engage in repetitive movements with their hands, but those who may be experiencing hormone fluctuations, are at a heightened risk of developing the syndrome.

There are many people who require surgery to overcome carpal tunnel syndrome, but in the majority of situations surgery can actually be avoided by taking early intervention with targeted physical therapy. Wearing a brace, working with a physical therapist to counteract the repetitive motions and taking other steps to reduce stress on the median nerve can make dramatic improvements in the quality of life and experience of pain for an individual with carpal tunnel syndrome. While many of these strategies are something you can do at home once you are properly trained, it is important to not attempt to engage in these exercises without guidance from your physical therapist, as improper form or movement could lead to increased discomfort or further injury.

I HAVE A NEWFOUND CONFIDENCE! What an amazing place filled with a wonderful and very caring staff! I found TBTW by chance after I was told I would need PT for tennis elbows. From day one, I felt comfortable with the people here from check-in with a smile from the receptionist, to the students and interns, to the very knowledgeable therapists. This journey has been easier than expected. My job is very physical and not being able to lift and carry was a real pain- literally. These elbows of mine affected everything- even reaching into cabinets to put away a dish. Everything was painful to accomplish. Now, as I leave this place, I have a newfound confidence because of the strength and strategies provided. I feel like I am leaving a family, but I know they are always here! Thank you to Sara for opening a place that serves this community so well. To those who worked with me- thank you! You have made a big difference!”

– Kim Lasater, TBTW Patient