Arm, Wrist, Elbow Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

If you experience numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers, you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Some people have more difficulty keeping a firm grip on things and as a result, they may keep losing things.

The main cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is swelling due to repetitive motion or overuse of the wrist and fingers. The carpal tunnel, located at the base of the palm, is surrounded by bones, tendons and a ligament. This space lets certain tendons and a major nerve pass from the forearm into the hand. With CTS, the tendon sheaths may thicken and enlarge which reduce the amount of space inside the carpal tunnel. As a result, the median nerve may be compressed.

Pregnant women who suffer from generalized swelling of the hands and feet throughout their pregnancy may be susceptible to CTS. Diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and diabetes can also give rise to CTS. For people who engage in repetitive activities, the pain and numbness may return during the day. If left untreated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may result in progressive and permanent weakness and numbness in the hand.

Wrist Pain


What Causes Wrist Pain?

The wrist has 8 carpal bones and 4 joints. The important structures of the wrist can be divided into several categories. These include:

  • bones and joints
  • ligaments and tendons
  • muscles
  • nerves
  • blood vessels

Wrist pain affects most people who spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard, which stresses and injures the ligaments and tendons of the wrist joint. This leads to serious tendonitis, and in severe cases, a wrist fracture.

The wrist joint is a much neglected joint as we normally do not stretch or strengthen it, the median nerve could be compressed and could result in tingling, numbness or sense of weakness to your hands.

You may feel the pain radiating around your wrists to your elbow, or even as far as your shoulder blade and neck. People with a more severe wrist pain will experience a loss of feeling in some fingers, which will affect their ability to do everyday tasks such as writing, driving or even just holding a cup.

Tennis Elbow


What is Tennis Elbow?

Tennis Elbow is not necessarily applicable only to tennis players. The term Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) describes pain experienced at the outer bony area of your elbow due to inflammation of the tendon on the outer part of the elbow.

This is usually caused by repetitive twisting motions of the wrist and arm such as wringing clothes and using the screwdriver. For most people with tennis elbow, the pain only occurs when they use their forearm and wrist. However, for some people, the pain is constantly experienced, even at rest.

The pain may travel down your arm from your elbow down to your wrist, affecting your sleep. You may also find it difficult to straighten your arm or hold even light items such as a cup or a pen.

Tennis and golfers’ elbow is more likely to occur if you have unfit forearm muscles. Increasing the strength of your forearm muscles can help to prevent a further bout of tennis and golfers’ elbow in the future. The Body Clinic’s pain management specialists will help you strengthen your forearm muscles, without any twisting movements.

Golfer’s Elbow


What is Golfer’s Elbow?

Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis) describes a condition where inflammation of the tendon occurs at the inner bony part of the elbow. The sufferer experiences a dull, intermittent pain within the inner bony area of the elbow joint, close to what you would call your “funny bone”.

The pain may progress and develop into a sharp continuous pain. Golfer’s elbow usually develops as a result of repetitive use of the elbow and arm, causing undue stress on the tendons that flex the wrist and fingers. This in turn leads to the development of microscopic tears in the tendons that flex the wrist and fingers resulting in inflammation and pain.

Another very common source of strain occurs when the forearms rest on a tabletop, desk, or armrest of a chair. Pressure on the flexor muscles interferes with the normal motion of the muscles as they contract and relax, forcing the muscles to work harder than necessary when grasping or typing.

Golfer’s elbow can also develop as a result of direct trauma or after an elbow injury such as a fracture. Golfers typically do not only experience golfer’s elbow. Golf injuries usually occur in the lower back, elbows, shoulders, hands and wrists. The impact and stress of the repetitive motion of the swing is sometimes hard on the muscles and joints.

Elbow Pain


What Is Elbow Pain?

The elbow is the meeting point of many nerves and blood vessels as they pass from the upper to the lower arm. The elbow is made up of three long bones, which are connected by muscles, ligaments and tendons. The three bones are:

  1. The humerus – the large upper arm bone
  2. The ulna and
  3. The radius – the two bones in the forearm

Looking at the forearm with the palm of your hand facing up, the ulna is located on the inner (medial) aspect of the forearm. The radius is located on the outer (lateral) aspect of the forearm. The radius and ulna meet in the elbow to allow for rotation of the forearm. The elbow functions to move the arm like a hinge (forward and backward) and in rotation (twisting outward and inward). The muscles that move the fingers and wrists originate at the elbow. The biceps muscle is the major muscle that flexes the elbow hinge. The triceps muscle is the major muscle that extends the elbow hinge.

Some of the many circumstances that may contribute to elbow injuries include:

  • lack of strength or flexibility in the forearm muscles
  • lack of strength in the shoulder muscles
  • instability of the elbow joint
  • poor technique during sporting activities (especially tennis and golf) that puts too much strain on the elbow joint
  • inappropriate sporting equipment, such as using a heavy tennis racquet or having the wrong sized grip on a tennis racquet or golf club
  • repetitive movements of the hands and arms, such as working on an assembly line
  • continuously making the muscles and joint take heavy loads
  • other factors such as neck symptoms or nerve irritation.