Arm Pain

Tennis elbow

“Tennis elbow” is a term that is often used to describe pain and tenderness of the outer region of the elbow. In this condition, chronic degenerative changes of the tendons of the wrist and forearm extensor muscles (most commonly the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB)) create wrist and forearm weakness and pain.

You do not have to be a tennis player to develop this condition – in fact most people who develop it do not even play tennis! Common causes may include repetitive and excessive wrist extension or forearm movements such as gripping tools, holding instruments or using a computer mouse.

Your musculoskeletal physiotherapist can diagnose the cause of your injury and provide you with treatment that addresses any biomechanical or technique contributing factors.  Treatment may involve massage, mobilisation of the elbow joint, taping, bracing and strength training.

Golfer’s elbow

“Golfer’s elbow” is a term that is often used to describe pain and tenderness of the inner region of the elbow. In this condition, chronic degenerative changes of the tendons of the wrist and forearm flexor muscles create wrist and forearm weakness and pain.

You do not have to be a golfer to develop this condition – in fact most people who develop it do not even play golf!

Common causes may include repetitive and excessive wrist flexion or forearm movements such as turning tools and holding heavy bags (like the groceries!).

Your musculoskeletal physiotherapist can diagnose the cause of your injury and provide you with treatment that addresses any biomechanical or technique contributing factors.  Treatment may involve massage, mobilisation of the elbow joint, taping, bracing and strength training.

Bursitis

A bursa is a fluid filled sack that lies between two structures to decrease friction between structures and provide force distribution. A bursa is commonly located between the skin and bone, a muscle and joint space, tendon and bone.  Bursitis occurs when there are excessive compressive or tensile forces creating friction in the region of the bursa.  The bursa can become irritated and inflamed resulting in pain, loss of joint range and significant swelling. In locations where the bursa is superficial a large lump may be visible due to excessive swelling.

Physiotherapy management strategies include swelling management, biomechanical offloading of the affected area (which may include soft tissue work and joint techniques) and activity modification.  Your sports physiotherapist will be provide you with a tailored rehabilitation programme to gradually increase your activities and return to full pain free activity.

https://www.glenelgorthopaedics.com.au/cysts/olecranon-bursitis-student-s-elbow

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel is the passageway on the palmer side of the wrist and is formed by the wrist bones and connective tissue. The tendons that move the fingers and wrist, as well as blood vessels and the median nerve pass through this tunnel. With all of these structures passing through a very small space, the carpal tunnel is crowded!. If swelling in the tunnel occurs, the structures (including blood vessels and nerves) become compressed and this can lead to lead to wrist and hand weakness and pain, and, pins and needles or numbness in the first, third and fourth fingers. It is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience carpal tunnel syndrome due to the swelling that can occur in their hands as a result of increased fluid.

Physiotherapy treatment includes massage, swelling management, joint techniques, strengthening and taping or bracing.