Elbow, Wrist, Hand & Thumb Pain

Pain in the elbow, wrist, hand, or thumb is most associated with overuse or repetitive use (i.e. typing all day or one month after starting a new sport like tennis).  These small muscles and joints can become strained from the repetition, especially if your position or the position of the desk set-up isn’t aligned.  So the first step is teaching you how to position yourself for optimal efficiency of the arms and to optimize blood flow ==> resulting in healthier tissues.  And change the set-up of your desk, car, sleeping arrangement, etc. so the areas of the arm can rest as much as possible.  We also need to bring down inflammation,- with the use of ice or therapeutic machines (like ultrasound), and with taping or wrist supports to keep the joints in neutral positions.

Sometimes, the pain and weakness you are experiencing in your lower arms and hands is not coming from something local there.  It may come from a compromise in the nerves and blood supply to those areas before it even gets there.  A nerve may get pinched in the neck and may send pain into the lower arm, so you need to address the problem at the neck, and not mistakenly work too hard to resolve the problem by working somewhere else.  Or the nerve may get pinched in the thoracic outlet.  The nerves which exit the neck and go into the arm are called the brachial plexus.  This bundle of nerves travels under the collarbone and thru the pec muscles.  If it is tight there, the nerve may get pinched, and if the nerve that gets pinched happens to be the one which travels into the lower arm, you may experience referred pain that is actually coming from a nerve compression higher than where the problem is felt.

Often, it is best to address any arm problem within the context of a larger picture.  For example, the core on the side of the arm you are about to move turns on first in preparation for the task to be done.  If it does not turn on prior, the arm seems weak.  So assessing for movement patterns within the whole body can result in stronger, faster, better results.

Call today for an elbow, wrist, hand or thumb treatment appointment with Anita!
Reach our Beverly Hills Physical Therapy Office at: (310) 203-0100