fb_icon_325x325.png  photo.jpg  "Leave Us a Review!"

Understanding Shoulder, Wrist and Elbow Pain


Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation

Common shoulder injury includes damage to the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles whose primary goal is to keep the ball of the shoulder joint well-aligned in the socket at all times. Some of the tendons of these muscles are vulnerable to injury because their blood supply is not optimal and because the tendons are very close to bone structures. As the arm is moved overhead these tendons can get squeezed between bony structures resulting in minor injury. These minor injuries only occur when movement patterns are not normal or when bony spurs have developed. Repeated minor injuries can result in major damage over time. Once your shoulder becomes painful it is time to act. Our shoulder injury treatment approach is simple: remove obstacles that prevent normal smooth movement. To execute this approach we often need to stretch the structures (ligaments, muscle, tendon and capsule) that have tightened. We also need to strengthen weakened muscles and train the muscles and joints to work together in harmony. We need to promote blood flow in the area of the injured tendon. Of crucial importance is educating our patients about the origin of their shoulder pain and our approach to resolve the problem. Our treatment plans change as the patient heals. At Dynamic Physical Therapy we are experts at keeping your treatment plan in sync with the healing injury.

The upper extremity works in an open chain, which means the hand is not attached to a solid object. The lower extremity works in a closed chain since the foot is usually connected to the ground. This difference is the foundation of our treatment approach for injuries to the upper extremity. Our treatment plan for an upper extremity injury is entirely different in design than a treatment plan for the lower extremity because they function in completely different ways.

Elbow Injury Rehabilitation

The elbow is a crucial joint for daily activities. Most people have heard of tennis elbow, a common injury found in many people who have never played tennis. Tennis elbow is a condition where the tendons that control the wrist and elbow are affected. Previously thought to be an inflammatory condition, we now believe it unlikely that inflammation is the major cause of this condition. The pain is felt at the outside of the elbow and researchers think the origin of the pain is caused by structural changes in the tendon and muscles resulting from repeated small injuries. These small injuries are probably the result of overuse. Repeated strong contractions of these muscles can result in repeated minor damage in the tendon and tendon-muscle junction. Treatment plans for this condition are comprehensive. We address various components based on the findings from the physical examination and patient interview. A common component of these custom-designed treatment plans includes manual therapy to eliminate movement restrictions and re-education of muscle groups. Other components include icing, ultrasound treatment, iontophoresis, and electrical stimulation. An individually designed exercise program is another important component of a comprehensive treatment approach for tennis elbow. It is crucial that people with tennis elbow understand what is causing or prolonging the condition. Education of the patient is a primary component in our treatment plans for this condition.

Wrist & Hand Injury Rehabilitation

The wrist and hand are some of the most amazing parts of the human body. The intricacy of design and function are mind-boggling. It is amazing that a structure so intricate can sustain so much ‘abuse’ without injury. Of course, sometimes injury occurs anyway and we are here to help. Common injuries to the wrist and hand include fractures, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. A thorough interview and physical examination will take place when the patient first visits our office with a wrist or hand problem. After analyzing all the information from this interview and examination, we design a treatment plan based on this analysis. Each treatment plan for every patient is different because every person and condition is unique. However, there are some elements that are central to our successful approach for hand and wrist injuries. This includes education; it is essential for a successful treatment plan that the patient plays an active role in his or her treatment. Manual therapy often plays a role when movement restrictions are present. Quite simply, if the wrist or hand does not move freely, healing will be impaired. Exercise is important as well in order to allow the joints and muscles of the hand and wrist to resume working in harmony; often this takes time and considerable effort.

Learn more!

Click Here to learn more about this in our latest newsletter.

If you are experiencing poor balance and need help, give us a call at (208) 777-4242 (Post Falls) or (208) 665-2000 (Coeur d'Alene).