Elbow and Wrist Pain

Lateral Epicondylitis

Often referred to as Tennis elbow this injury is common amongst people of all sedentary, sporting, and occupational backgrounds. Tennis elbow is the inflammation of tendons attaching to the lateral epicondyle of the humerus (a bony prominence on the outside of the elbow). The muscles that attach here are responsible for extending the wrist and fingers. It is an area that we commonly overuse and thus cause irritation to the tendons (inflammation). This is becoming increasingly apparent as we are typing on our keyboards and using our phones more than ever before. Tennis elbow can often take 2-3months to fully recover. Tennis elbow pain is often increased by picking up objects, extending the wrists and/or fingers.

Medial Epicondylitis

Commonly referred to as golfers elbow, this condition cause’s inflammation of tendons attaching to the medial epicondyle of the humerus (a bony prominence on the inside of the elbow). The muscles attaching here are responsible for flexing the wrist and fingers and pronation (rotation of the hand in direction so the thumb points toward the floor). It is effectively the opposite of the more common condition tennis elbow. Most people will make a full recovery following 2-3months of treatment.

Stenosing Tenosynovitis

This condition is better known as “trigger finger”, a painful condition where the thumb and/or one of the fingers get stuck when flexing (bending toward the palm). This occurs due to inflammation of the tendons responsible for this action becoming stuck as they slide within their sheath. There is often a small bump below the affected thumb and/or finger that is painful to touch. Sometimes a clicking sensation is felt during movement. It is more common in your dominant hand, but can occur in either.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is where the median nerve in your wrist becomes compressed under a ligament that spans across it called the transverse carpal ligament. Pain, pins and needles and numbness are often felt in the thumb, index, and middle finger. In most cases it is not known why this condition occurs, but it happens more frequently in those who are pregnant, diabetic, had previous wrist injuries, or undergo strenuous repetitive work with the hand.

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