Elbow, Wrist, & Hand Pain & Conditions
The elbow, wrist, and hand are surprisingly complex parts of the body and can be vulnerable to injury and conditions that can cause pain and discomfort. Pain in these areas can be localized to the affected area or radiate to other body parts, including the shoulder or neck.
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Most Common Causes of Elbow, Wrist, & Hand Pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) develops when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. This nerve extends from the forearm into the hand. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling in the affected area.
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome – Cubital tunnel syndrome happens when the ulnar nerve that runs from the shoulder down the arm, through the elbow, and into the hand is compressed. When the ulnar nerve becomes compressed, it can cause a tingling sensation, numbness, and pain in the elbow, wrist, and hand.
- Arthritis – Arthritis is a form of joint inflammation that affects the joints in these areas and can lead to chronic pain, swelling, and stiffness. Several factors can cause arthritis, including age, genetics, and an injury or infection.
- Sprains, Strains, and Fractures – Sprains, strains, and fractures can occur for a wide variety of reasons such as accidents, sports injuries, and overuse. They can involve any number of side effects including swelling, pain, and a limited range of motion.
- Nerve Injuries – Nerve injuries can occur due to trauma or repetitive use and can have a long-term impact on mobility and sensation. Depending on the severity of the injury, nerve injuries can lead to mild discomfort or severe pain and disability.
- Tennis or Golfer’s Elbows – Tennis and golfer’s elbows are conditions that occur due to overuse of the muscles and tendons in the forearm, leading to inflammation and pain in the elbow and surrounding areas.
- Elbow Bursitis – Elbow bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, a small sac of fluid between the elbow joint’s bones, tendons, and muscles. This sac of fluid acts as a cushion, allowing the elbow to move smoothly. When the bursa becomes inflamed, this fluid can build up, leading to pain and swelling.
- Tendonitis – This is an inflammation of the tendons, which are the tissues that connect muscle to bone. This can result in pain, swelling, and loss of strength and mobility in the affected area.
- Ganglion Cyst – Ganglion cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop close to joints or tendons. Although they can form anywhere on the body, the wrists, hands, and elbows are where they are most frequently found.
Available Treatments for Elbow, Wrist, & Hand Pain Include:
- Exercise and PT – Exercise and physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles and joints in the affected area and improve the range of motion and flexibility. Strengthening the muscles in the elbow, wrist, and hand leads to reduced pain, as well as preventing further injury.
- Medications (NSAIDs) – Doctors frequently recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as standard treatments for these pains. These medications block the production of enzymes that cause inflammation, reducing swelling and pain.
- Lifestyle Changes – Crucial lifestyle changes, like avoiding activities that put excessive stress on joints, regular exercise, weight loss, and getting enough rest are also recommended treatment options to help you manage this pain.
- Injections and Infusions – Injections and infusions can treat various types of elbow, wrist, and hand pain, including carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis. Injections are generally recommended for acute pain, while infusions are better for chronic pain.
- Braces and Assistive Devices – Braces can help limit the range of motion and support the affected joint while is heals. Assistive devices such as hand grip strengthening tools, hand exercisers, and ergonomic keyboards can also be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation.
Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?
At New Orleans’ Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers, we utilize state-of-the-art technologies to locate and treat your elbow, wrist, and hand pain. Our team of board-certified anesthesiologists and pain management experts have extensive fellowship training and are proud to work with you to create a customized treatment plan. We specialize in non-surgical and surgical-interventional treatments with a focus on rehabilitation. Let us help you lead a pain-fee life.
Elbow, Wrist, & Hand Pain FAQ
Arthritis pain in the wrist and hand usually feels like a dull ache or a burning sensation. Sometimes the pain is worse with movement, and sometimes it is worse at night or while resting.
Some believe that medicine is the best treatment for hand pain, while others believe alternative methods are more effective. Ultimately, a treatment decision should be made with your doctor after determining the root cause of your pain.
If the pain is severe or persists for more than a few days, it is crucial to seek medical attention. A doctor will be able to properly diagnose the cause and recommend the best course of treatment.
You cannot cure elbow pain caused by arthritis, but the pain caused by a minor injury or slight overuse may go away with some minor treatments and rest.