Elbow and arm

Pain, tingling or numbness around the elbow, wrist or hand can often be a sign of an overuse injury. These symptoms can be caused by a range of issues, but they’re commonly associated with overloading tendons, muscles, and sometimes neural structures.

Overloading can occur in sports and through biomechanical issues, but it frequently presents as an issue for office workers. Repetitive actions – performed day in, day out – can have an accumulative, damaging effect over the long term. Whether it’s tennis-elbow or mouse-shoulder, pain and discomfort will impact upon your performance: both in sport and at the workplace.


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Our approach to elbow, arm and hand physiotherapy

Our experienced physiotherapists will assess the injury site in detail. We also review your posture in order to highlight simple physical changes that may assist with symptom resolution and injury prevention.

Additionally, our physios can make ergonomic suggestions to improve your daily experience of the office environment.

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When should I see a physiotherapist?

If you’ve experienced any of the following signs or symptoms, we recommend you get in touch with the team as soon as possible:

  • Severe, lasting pain in or around the hand, arm, or elbow.
  • Tenderness on the outer bony part of the elbow.
  • Pain worsening when grasping or holding an object.
  • Numbness or pain in your hand, forearm or wrist.
  • Inability to flex the wrist or grasp certain objects.
  • Any kind of popping or snapping sound or sensation associated with an identifiable injury incident.
  • Ongoing swelling or stiffness in the area.
  • Grinding, clicking or cracking sounds associated with the movements of the joints.

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Symptoms

Given that there are such a wide variety of issues associated with the elbow, arm and hand, the symptoms can be varied. Noting which symptoms apply to your injury helps toward your diagnosis, which is made at the initial appointment after a full assessment.


Pain

Pain can vary from being:

  • Dull/aching.
  • Sharp/shooting/acute.

Onset

Onset may be:

  • A sudden injury.
  • Gradual, with no specific or identifiable ‘injury’.

Triggers

  • Normal everyday activities.
  • Overuse (i.e. gradually worsens throughout an activity)
  • Rest: the affected area is in constant pain.

Sensations

  • Stiffness.
  • Swelling.
  • Numbness or tingling.
  • Weakness.
  • Spasms.
  • Clicking or stuttered motion.

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Common conditions

There are many conditions that can affect the elbow, arm and hand. Some of the more common issues we treat in clinic include tennis elbow, golfers elbow, post-surgical rehabilitation, post-fracture rehabilitation, bursitis, post-dislocation rehabilitation, acute sprains and strains, postural problems, tendonitis, repetitive strain Injuries, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy.


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Frequently-asked questions

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