The most common causes of elbow and wrist pain that we see in our office:
Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) & Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): With repetitive use from sports or using the mouse on the computer, adhesion will form in the muscles that flex and extend the forearm. These forearm muscles attach to tendons that insert onto the inside and outside of the elbow, causing what is classically labeled as tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow. Adhesion in the forearm muscles causes the tendons to become overloaded. This will create symptoms at the elbow, but the problem is stemming from the forearm.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal tunnel symptoms include aching, numbness, burning & tingling that goes into the hand. It is classically thought that this is caused by pressure on the median nerve, in the carpal tunnel, as it goes into the wrist. While this can occur, particularly during pregnancy or in people with diabetes where there extra fluid and pressure against the nerve, the most often cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is a nerve entrapment involving the median nerve. The nerve can be stuck anywhere from the nerve roots at the neck, in the armpit, or in the forearm. It is rarely stuck in the carpal tunnel.
Nerve Entrapment: Aside from the median nerve entrapments, the ulnar nerve and radial nerve can become stuck to the muscles in the arm or forearm due to adhesion. Nerve entrapments can cause aching, numbness, burning & tingling down the arm, into the forearm, and into the hand and fingers.
Elbow Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion for the elbow joint, is a classic indicator of overuse of the muscles that attach to the elbow. Adhesion in the forearm muscles is the most common cause of elbow bursitis.
Wrist sprains/strains: After an acute wrist injury, the soft tissue damage will cause local inflammation, and produce pain. If the normal range of motion does not return after 2-3 weeks, the accumulation of scar tissue and adhesion is limiting the range of motion, and this will lead to limited mobility, degeneration, and weakness of the wrist.