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Orthopedics

Elbow Pain Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado Springs elbow pain therapy treatment at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC, helps reduce pain and regain mobility and strength:

About the Elbow

A man holding his elbow which is painfulThe elbow is a joint that connects the humerus bone to the radius and ulnar bones. The Humerus bone is found in the upper part of the arm, while the radius and ulnar bones are found in the lower part of the arm. The elbow is considered a hinge joint that allows the arm to bend and rotate with help from the biceps. The elbow is surrounded by ligaments that help with joint stability.


Elbow Problems

  • Bursitis: often caused by elbow trauma, arthritis, bacterial infections of the skin, pressure on the elbow and gout.
  • Arthritis: conditions that can affect the elbow include infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Fractures: depending on the fall of an individual, fractures and dislocations may be possible. Fractures and dislocations may be caused by falling directly on the elbow or by falling on a hand that is stretched outward.
  • Injury: elbow strain that eventually causes inflammation.

What is Medial Epicondylitis?

Often referred to as golfer’s elbow, suitcase elbow, baseball elbow and/or forehand tennis elbow, medial epicondylitis is medial pain that radiates from the elbow to the wrist. This pain is brought on by damaged tendons responsible for bending the wrist towards the palm. Tendons are strong tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. When these are damaged, pain is felt and movement is limited.

Medial Epicondylitis Causes

This condition is often caused by movements that mimic golfing, hence the name “golfer’s elbow.” These movements that use force to bend the wrist toward the palm can cause medial epicondylitis if the movements are excessive.

Other causes of medial epicondylitis:

  • Chain saw usage
  • Javelin throwing
  • Weak wrist and shoulder muscles
  • Wood chopping with an ax
  • Using hand tools regularly
  • Carry heavy suitcases regularly
  • Forceful tennis serves
  • Using tennis rackets that are too heavy or short

Medial Epicondylitis Symptoms

It’s important to remember everyone may experience different medial epicondylitis symptoms. However, these are the most common medial epicondylitis symptoms:

One of the most common medial epicondylitis symptoms is pain felt along the forearm. This pain is on the palm side and can extend from the wrist to the elbow. This pain is also felt on the same side as the pinky finger and is mainly felt when squeezing a ball or when the wrist is bending toward the palm.

Since medial epicondylitis symptoms can be similar to other health conditions, it’s important for each person experiencing elbow pain to see his or her doctor.

Medial Epicondylitis Treatment

Treating a patient for medial epicondylitis will be based on the patient’s:

  • Age
  • Condition severity
  • Condition outlook
  • Overall health and medical history
  • Opinion
  • Tolerance to certain treatments

It is important for patients to stop activity that causes the symptoms to flare. Treatment options may include:

  • Wearing a brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Icing the area to reduce inflammation
  • Surgery
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Strength exercises

What is Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)?

Also known as tennis elbow, lateral epicondylitis is the pain felt on the lateral or outside of an elbow. This pain is the result of damaged tendons that allow the wrist to bend away from the hand’s palm. Tendons are the strong tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. The main tendon associated with lateral epicondylitis is the extensor carpi radialis brevis, often referred to as ECRB. Lateral epicondylitis is found in both women and men and is usually found in those aged 30 to 50 years old.

Tennis Elbow Causes

Since lateral epicondylitis is also known as tennis elbow, it shows the relation between those who use great force to hit the ball with a tennis racket. This motion may allow the forearm muscles to become sore and strained. Those who practice their backhand tennis stroke increase their chances damaging the tendons that roll over the elbow during each swing.

Other causes of tennis elbow may include:

  • Weak wrist and shoulder muscles
  • Chain saw usage
  • Carpentry
  • Roller or brush painting
  • Using hand tools excessively
  • Improper backhand tennis strokes
  • Hitting heavy tennis balls
  • Hitting the tennis ball off the center of the racket
  • Performing dentistry or musical instruments
  • Using meat cutters
  • Using tennis rackets that are too short or tight

Tennis Elbow Symptoms

Tennis elbow symptoms may vary from person to person. Anyone experiencing the symptoms above should see their physician.

The main tennis elbow symptom felt by patients is pain along the elbow and forearm. The pain is usually persistent and is the strongest when one raises his or her hand against resistance.

Since tennis elbow symptoms can mimic other medical problems or conditions, it’s important for each person to see their doctor.

Treating Tennis Elbow

The treatment for tennis elbow will depend on a patient’s:

  • Age
  • Condition outlook
  • Condition severity
  • Tolerance to certain treatments
  • Preference
  • Medical history and overall health

Treatment for tennis elbow may include:

  • Wearing a brace
  • Physical therapy
  • Strengthening the area
  • Applying an ice pack to reduce inflammation
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Taking an anti-inflammatory medication
  • Surgery for severe cases

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome?

Similar to the pain felt when one’s just hit his or her funny bone, cubital tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve (the one that crosses the elbow) becomes injured or irritated.

Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Cubital tunnel syndrome is caused when the ulnar nerve, which runs through the cubital tunnel of bone, muscle and ligaments (often referred to as the funny bone) is injured or irritated. Other causes of cubital tunnel syndrome may include excessive leaning on the elbow, injuries to the elbow, pulling, reaching or lifting.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Cubital tunnel syndrome symptoms may vary from person to person. Anyone experiencing elbow pain should seek medical attention from their physician.

Common cubital tunnel syndrome symptoms include:

  • Pain in the hand
  • Hand numbness or numbness in the ring or pinky finger
  • Muscle weakness leading to hand and thumb clumsiness

Since the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may mimic other medical conditions, it’s important for any concerned individual to see a physician.

Treating Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Treatment for a patient’s cubital tunnel syndrome based on his or her:

  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Overall health
  • Preference
  • Condition outlook
  • Condition severity
  • Treatment tolerance

Physicians find that the best treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome is for their patients to avoid any activity that inflicts pain. Other treatment options may include:

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Wearing elbow pads for protection
  • Wearing a split or elbow pad at night
  • Surgery in severe cases

How to Get Help

You can call 719-635-8622 to schedule a free consultation for your Colorado Springs elbow pain therapy treatment at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC.

Knee Pain Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado Springs knee pain therapy at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC, will help get you back ‘hopping’ around and doing the things you love to do:

What Causes Knee Pain?

A woman hold her painful kneeThe knee is a joint that is very susceptible to injury. Since the knee takes part in daily activities such as running, lifting, kneeling and more, it isn’t unusual for some people to result in knee injuries due to stress.

The knee is comprised of:

Femur: the upper leg/thigh bone.

Tibia: the larger of the two lower leg bones.

Patella: the kneecap.

Fortunately, each bone is covered by cartilage, which leaves the knee protected. This cartilage helps absorb shock to the knees, and holds together the ligaments, tendons and muscles.

Like cartilage, the knee is also surrounded by muscle. There are two types of muscle that surround the knee – the hamstrings, which are found on the back of the thighs and the quadriceps, which are found on the front of the thighs. The primary function of the hamstring muscle is to allow the leg to bend at the knee. As for the quadriceps muscle, it allows the leg to straighten.

For the bones and muscles to connect, they must be connected by tissues called tendons. For one bone to connect to the other bone, they must be connected by ligaments. Though some ligaments have a primary function of protecting the joints and providing stability, other ligaments restrain certain backward and forward movements of the tibia.


Knee Problems

Many people have certain knee problems and conditions that are usually the result of wear and tear on the joints and are caused by the natural aging process. Others who experience knee pain or discomfort may have one of the following conditions:

  • Torn cartilage
  • Trauma to the menisci (the connective tissue that maintains stability and absorbs shock)
  • Strain or sprain of the muscles and/or ligaments
  • Strain or sprain caused by a sharp twist of the knee or a hit to the knee
  • Tendon inflammation due to excessive jumping, running or cycling.
  • Cartilage tear (requires treatment by wearing a brace)
  • Tendonitis
  • Jumper’s knee (tendonitis of the patella tendon)
  • Arthritis

Two forms of arthritis that are common in knee problems are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. With rheumatoid arthritis, the joints become inflamed and the cartilage that surrounds the joints starts to become destroyed. This type of arthritis tends to affect a younger group of people and comes before osteoarthritis. As for osteoarthritis, this is more common of the two. This arthritis tends to be found more in overweight people and/or is the result of the excessive stress placed on a certain joint. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage surrounding a joint will slowly wear away.


Treating Knee Problems

Treatment for a knee problem will be based upon:

  • Preference
  • Tolerance to therapy, medication and procedures
  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Overall health
  • Condition, injury or disease outlook
  • Severity of the condition, injury or disease

For some cases, physicians or an orthopedist may recommend a total joint replacement if the knee can’t experience relief and/ or if the x-rays show destruction.


Schedule a Free Consultation

You can call 719-635-8622 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your Colorado Springs knee pain therapy treatment at Revolution Rehabilitaton, PC.

Hip Pain & Hip Fracture Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado Springs hip pain and hip fracture treatment at Revolutions Rehabilitation, PC, helps you get back on your feet and back at it.

What Causes Hip Pain and What Is a Hip Fracture?

A woman holding her painful hipHip pain can be caused by injury, neurological, or degenerative disease conditions. A hip fracture, a possible cause of hip pain, is the result of a break in the femur’s hip joint. Joints, being two or more bones that come together, consist of a few different “types” of joint. For instance, a hip joint is sometimes referred to as a ball and socket joint. The ball of the joint is the femur’s head, while the socket is the structure that resembles the cup of the pelvic bone (acetabulum.) Since hip fractures can be so severe, they require medical attention immediately.


Types of Hip Fractures

Fractures can either be complete or partial, and they can contain just one break or multiple breaks. Hip fractures are also categorized by the type of break, as well as the area the break is in.

Common Hip Fractures

Intertrochanteric hip fracture: fracture that is three to four inches away from the hip joint. Fortunately, this fracture doesn’t not cause problem by interrupting the blood supply that flows to the bone. Since it doesn’t not interrupt the blood supply, physicians usually have an easier time repairing this type of fracture.

Femoral neck fracture: fracture that is one to two inches away from the hip joint. Often associated with osteoporosis, these types of hip fractures are most common in elderly people. Being more serious than an intertrochanteric hip fracture, a femoral neck fracture can cause a lack of blood supply flowing to the femurs head, which is where the hip joint is formed.

Almost 90 percent of hip fractures are either an intertrochanteric or femoral neck fracture. Though there may also be a stress fracture, these are usually more difficult to diagnose. Stress fractures are hairline cracks in the femur, but they don’t have to involve the entire bone. By overusing the hip joint or by repeating a certain motion over and over, a stress fracture can occur. The symptoms of a stress fracture may be similar to a muscle strain or tendonitis.


Who’s affected by Hip Fractures?

Hip fractures are most common in elderly people. In fact, those older than 60 actually make up for around 90 percent of all hip fractures total. For each decade after the age of 50, a person’s likelihood of developing a hip fracture doubles. Since Asians and Caucasians are most susceptible to osteoporosis, they are affected more than other ethnic groups. With osteoporosis, more women are affected than men, and therefore women have a greater chance of developing a hip fracture. Women make up for 80 percent of all hip fracture cases. Due to osteoporosis, 1.5 million Americans result in fractures.

When it comes to hip fractures, the United States ranks the highest with the number of occurrences equaling 300,000 annually. Just in 2003, hip fractures hospitalized 309,500 people. It is predicted that there will be more than 500,000 hip fractures annually by 2040.


Seriousness of Hip Fractures

Hip fractures are very serious as those who experience a hip fracture have a greater chance of dying earlier than someone of the same age who has not experienced a hip fracture. Every year, around 20 percent of hip fracture victims die within a year of their injury. It’s also estimated that just one in four people will have a complete recovery from their hip fracture.

After a hip fracture has occurred, most patients will be admitted to a hospital for one to two weeks. Recovering from a hip fracture can be a long process and it may be necessary for those suffering to be admitted to a rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, hip fractures leave a lot of people to be dependent on others and they may require the need for home caregivers or help from family members. Since there is pain associated with a hip fracture and usually a lack of independence, it’s common for patients to feel depressed.


Hip Fracture Causes

Hip fractures can be the result of many different things. In the elderly, hip fractures are usually caused by a fall. However, some may have a fracture that happens spontaneously. For the younger age groups, hip fractures are usually caused by falls of great height, car accidents or trauma.

Since elderly people tend to suffer from thinner bones and a lack of calcium, hip fractures are more common in older age groups. For those suffering from osteoporosis, bones will become much more brittle and be more susceptible to break if one falls down.

As time progresses, women tend to lose 30 to 50 percent of their bone’s density. Since women experience menopause, their bone loss is a much faster process as they are producing less estrogen. Without as much estrogen, there will be a lack of bone strength and density.


Hip Fracture Risks

Risk factors vary from person to person and can increase one’s likelihood of developing a certain condition. Though genetics, activity, and diet may all become risk factors, they aren’t always the cause of a certain condition. For instance, someone who experiences certain risk factors may never develop a certain condition, while someone who experiences no risk factors may develop a certain condition. Each person should know his or her risk factors and be monitored regularly by his or her physician.

Hip Fracture Risk Factors May Include:

  • Age
  • Osteoporosis
  • Height
  • Low body weight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Dementia
  • Vision problems
  • Excessive caffeine consumption
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Medications that contribute to bone loss
  • Assisted-care living
  • High risks of falling

Hip Fracture Symptoms

Hip fracture symptoms may vary from person to person. The most common symptoms usually include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Hip pain
  • Pain felt in the knee
  • Unable to walk or stand
  • Foot that’s turned out

Since these symptoms may mimic other conditions, it’s important for each person to seek professional medical attention.


Treating a Hip Fracture

Hip fracture treatment will vary from person to person, but most physicians base a patient’s treatment on his or her:

  • Preference
  • Outlook of the fracture
  • Severity of the fracture
  • Age
  • Medical history and overall health
  • Tolerance to certain procedures, medications and therapies

Hip fractures are mainly treated with surgery. For the most severe cases, a physician may replace the whole joint and/or use metal devices to stabilize the joint. Each patient will be examined individually to best treat his or her condition.

Physicians and therapists treating a patient with a hip fracture focus on providing relief and try to allow that person to perform regular activity. Since hip surgery does require hospital care, physical therapy exercises must be performed so that a patient can regain motion and stability in his or her hip. Once the patient has left the hospital, physical therapy may continue at his or her home or at a facility.


Hip Fracture Complications

Hip fractures can create serious complications. For instance, patients who have to be on bed rest for a long period of time may develop a blood clot. Blood clots can be caused by immobilization and eventually break off in to the bloodstream. If a blood clot travels to a lung, it can result in a pulmonary embolism and become fatal.

Other hip fracture complications:

  • Infections after surgery
  • Pneumonia
  • Bedsores due to immobilization and lying in one position
  • Improper union or non-union a bone
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Deterioration of one’s mental state

Some hip fractures result in a loss of blood flow to the femoral head. When there is a lack of blood supply, it is referred to as a vascular necrosis or femoral vascular necrosis. These complications depend on the fracture type and one’s anatomy.


Hip Fracture Prevention

Preventing a hip fracture is much easier than treating one. To prevent a hip fracture, one will want to make sure he or she is consuming the recommended daily dose of calcium. Women past the menopausal stage who aren’t taking estrogen are recommended to consume 1,500 milligrams daily. Women taking estrogen and middle-aged men will want to consume 1,000 mg daily.

Women who are experiencing menopause are urged to get a bone density test. This test is very important as it can measure the thickness and mineral content in the bones. These measurements can help bring awareness to brittle bones that have a greater chance of breaking and fracturing.

Bone density tests are also recommended because they can help diagnose osteoporosis and determine the risk factors of a fracture. Unfortunately, most women aren’t aware of the fact that they have osteoporosis until they’ve experienced a fracture. Bone density tests performed before a fracture can help reduce the risk of a fracture.

Hip fractures can also be prevented by:

  • Walking, hiking or jogging regularly
  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding unsteady furniture
  • Taking prescribed medications that prevent bone loss
  • Eating and drinking a diet high in calcium
  • Not drinking excessively
  • Using night lights to see better
  • Visiting an ophthalmologist yearly
  • Using slip-resistant rugs
  • Keeping electrical cords and other objects out of pathways

How to Get Help

You can schedule a free consultation at evolution Rehabilitation, PC, for your Colorado Springs hip pain and hip fracture therapy services by calling 719-635-8622.

Neck Pain Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado springs neck pain therapy at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC, helps you regain mobility and get relief from pain:

What is Neck Pain?

A woman holding her neck expressing painNeck pain is a very common complaint that is often the result of injury to the head and shoulders. Fortunately, most neck pain isn’t a serious concern, but more of an annoyance. Neck pain can range from mild to severe and can be brought on by many different things.


What Causes Neck Pain?

There are many different causes of neck pain. Some of the main causes include:

  • Herniated cervical discs
  • Tumors or abnormal growths
  • Injury that results in damaged ligaments, muscles and/or tendons
  • Cervical disc generation
  • Arthritis, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Inflammatory disease

Treating Neck Pain

Treatment for neck pain is based on:

  • Age
  • Outlook of the condition
  • Preference and/or opinion
  • Medical history and overall health
  • Severity of the condition
  • Tolerance to certain therapies, medications and procedures

Treatment options may include:

  • Resting
  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Medication to control pain levels
  • Medication to reduce the inflammation of the area
  • Surgery
  • Immobilization
  • Neck brace

How Can Physical Therapy Heal Neck Pain?

Since neck pain can’t always be cured with holistic measures or even medication, it’s common for patients to have to seek help from a physical therapist. Physical therapists are skilled and licensed to help those suffering from immobilization. Physical therapists may use the following to help provide relief for those suffering from neck pain:

Strength and Stretching

It’s common for physical therapists to use different exercises and manipulations to treat patients. Therapists will focus on strengthening the muscles that support the neck, improve the motion and posture of a patient and may use deep tissue massage, heat application and/or cooling treatments to provide relief.

Cervical Traction

Cervical traction is a technique that is often used by physical therapists and chiropractors. This helps a patient by opening up the spaces between the vertebrae in the neck. This procedure also help with pain relief and can be performed regularly or intermittently. Once cervical traction has been performed, a therapist may give the patient the option to perform this procedure at home or in a physical therapy setting.

Cervical Pillows

For patients looking to get some extra support while they’re sleeping, his or her physical therapist may recommend a cervical pillow. These pillows help keep the neck in one spot and from moving around too much at night.


How to Get Help

Please call 719-635-8622 to schedule an appointment to receive your Colorado Springs neck pain therapy at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC.

Shoulder Pain Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado Springs shoulder pain therapy treatment at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC, will help you alleviate pain and restore mobility:

What is the Shoulder?

Woman holding her painful shoulderThe shoulder is a very important part of the human body. This body part is made up of:

  • Joints: to provide movement, including:
    • Bones: the shoulder blade (scapula), the upper arm bone (humerus) and the collarbone.
    • Acromiocalvicular joint: also referred to as the AC joint, this joint is where the acromion meets the clavicle.
    • Sternoclavicular joint: the joint that connects the sternum to the clavicle.
    • Shoulder joint: also referred to as the glenohumeral joint, this joint is a ball-and-socket joint that allows the shoulder to move forward and backward and in a circular motion.
  • Ligaments: the strong fibrous tissues that connect the joints to one another and connect the bones and cartilage together. These tissues are shiny, white and flexible. The ligaments include:
    • Joint capsule: the ligaments that attach the humerus to the shoulder’s socket. This attachment is connected to the scapula so that the shoulder doesn’t become dislocated.
    • Other ligaments: the ligaments attaching the acromion to the clavicle and the ligaments that attach the scapula to the clavicle.
  • Tendons: the strong, connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. The rotator cuff tendons are responsible for connecting the muscles to the humerus bone.
  • Rotator cuff: made up of tendons, this cuff holds the glenohumeral ball joint at the top of the humerus.
  • Acromion: the highest point of the shoulder that is made by part of the shoulder blade.
  • Muscles: the muscles support the shoulder and allow it to rotate.
  • Bursa: the bursa is the area in between the lubricating fluid and the two moving surfaces. This area is also located between the rotator cuff’s outer layer and the outer layer of the bulky muscles.

Shoulder pain can vary from person to person. Some patients may notice their shoulder pain in one specific area, while other patients may notice their shoulder pain radiating up or down the shoulder.


Types of Shoulder Problems

The most common problems of the shoulder include:

  • Dislocation: the separation of the shoulder joint’s socket and ball. This is the most common joint dislocation of the body.
  • Separation: a separation in which the ligaments connected to the clavicle separate from the scapula. Shoulder separation usually occurs from a fall or a blow to the shoulder.
  • Bursitis: usually the result of tendonitis or impingement syndrome causing the bursa sacs to become inflamed.
  • Tendonitis: when the bicep tendon or rotator cuff of the shoulder becomes inflamed. This inflammation is usually caused by pinching of the surrounded structures. Tendonitis can either be mild or more severe affecting close to the entire rotator cuff. If the rotator cuff starts to thicken and become inflamed, it can get trapped under the acromion.
  • Impingement syndrome: when the shoulder blade and rotator cuff rub against each other or squeeze one another. The pain felt by this action is caused by an inflamed bursa over the shoulder’s rotator cuff. This pain can also be caused by inflamed tendons in the rotator cuff and/or tendons with calcium deposits. If the impingement disorder is severe and long lasting, it can result in a torn rotator cuff.
  • Torn rotator cuff: when the rotator cuff becomes inflamed and torn due to overusing it. This is usually caused by a fall, collision or by falling on a hand that was overstretched.
  • Fracture: a complete or partial crack in the bone. Fractures are usually caused by impacted injuries.
  • Adhesive capsulitis: often referred to as frozen shoulder, this condition is often so painful that it leads to immobilization of the shoulder. When the shoulder is used, it can cause inflammation and allow adhesions to grow in the joints of the shoulder. This immobilization and pain can also come from a lack of lubricating synovial fluid, which helps the shoulder move freely. Physicians are able to tell the difference between stiff shoulder and adhesive capsulitis based on the space in between the ball of the humerus and the capsule.

Common Causes of Shoulder Problems

The shoulder joint is the joint that moves the most in the body. Unfortunately, the ball of the joint is larger than the socket, which makes the shoulder more prone to injury. The shoulder joint is even more susceptible to injury because it needs to be supported by the tendons, muscles, ligaments, which are also prone to injury. Certain degenerative conditions and other medical problems can contribute to shoulder problems.


Treating Shoulder Problems

Treatment for shoulder pain and problems will depend upon:

  • Condition outlook
  • Condition severity
  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Overall health
  • Preference
  • Tolerance to treatment

Treatments may include:

  • Rest
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Modified activity
  • Surgery for more severe cases

How to Get Help

Call 719-635-8622 to schedule a free consultation for your Colorado Springs shoulder pain therapy treatment at Revolution Rehabilitation, PC.

Hand & Wrist Pain Therapy

Learn how receiving your Colorado Springs hand pain and wrist pain therapy at Revolution Rehabilitation helps you regain mobility and reduce pain:

About the Hand and Wrist

The foundation of the wrist and the hand contains several ligaments, muscles and bones, which allow movement and flexibility. The bones that make up the hand include the:

  • Carpal bones: bones that connect to the two arm bones – radius bone and the ulnar bone. The carpal bones are also the eight bones that make up the wrist.
  • Metacarpal bones: the bones that are located in the middle of the hand and connect to the fingers and to the wrist.
  • Phalanges: bones found in the fingers and the toes. Each finger has three phalanges, which makes a total of 14 phalanges for each hand and each foot. The three phalanges that make up the fingers and the toes are known as the distal, middle and proximal. As for the thumb, it only has two phalanges.

In each hand, there are ligaments, sheaths and muscles. The ligaments are responsible for binding the joints of each hand. The sheaths are the pieces that surround the fingers, and the muscles help the hands contract by allowing the bones to move.


Common Problems of the Hand and Wrist

A woman holding her painful wrist and handPatients who suffer from certain hand or wrist conditions may be affected by the activities of daily living. These conditions that affect one’s ADLs may include:

  • Arthritis: an inflammation of the joints. Arthritis can appear in many areas of the hand and wrist and may include inflammation of the:
  • Ligaments: fibrous tissue that attaches the joints and connects the cartilage and bone. This tissue is flexible, white and shiny.
  • Tendons: cords of connective tissue that connect the muscles to the bones.
  • Synovial membrane: a fluid that mimics a lubricant so that the joints and tendons stay lubricated. This fluid is sticky and clear and is dispensed by the synovial membrane.
  • Osteoarthritis: the most common form of arthritis found in elderly people. This degenerative joint disease progresses slowly and mainly affects the largest joints of the body and the hands. This condition is usually brought on by genetics, overuse, injury, muscle strain and/or fatigue.
  • Heberden nodes: abnormal bone and/or cartilage enlargements. These are usually close to the size of a pea but can be smaller. They may also occur in the joints of the fingers and can worsen due to osteoarthritis.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: a condition caused by the median nerve being compressed. This nerve is compressed when it passes through the carpel tunnel and may result in improper motor and sensory function in the three middle fingers and the thumb. Symptoms of improper motor and sensory function may include:
    • Fingers that feel swollen
    • Numbness in the hands
    • Pain in the hands
    • Feeling of pins and needles in the fingers
    • Hard time making a fist
    • Hard time gripping objects
    • Burning in the fingers
    • Tingling in the fingers

Since carpal tunnel syndrome may seem similar to other conditions, it’s important for each patient suffering from these symptoms to meet with his or her physician.


Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Physicians and therapists may treat a patient’s carpal tunnel syndrome by:

  • Using a splint to decrease the movements of the wrist and to decrease any compressed nerves in the carpal tunnel
  • Providing injected or oral anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the swelling
  • Performing surgery to relieve the compressed carpal tunnel nerves
  • Recommending a patient repositions his or her keyword

Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are the most common soft-tissue, fluid-filled hand tumors. Fortunately, these cysts are benign but can appear on the wrist or hand for no reason.

Though each individual may experience different symptoms with a ganglion cyst, common symptoms may include:

  • Cysts that are firm, round, tender or smooth
  • Wrist weakness
  • Aching and localized swelling in the affected area
  • Wrist pain due to repetitive wrist use

Since ganglion cyst symptoms may be similar to other problems or conditions, it’s important for each patient to seek medical attention from his or her physician.

Treating a ganglion cyst that is small and doesn’t cause pain isn’t always necessary. Instead, cysts that grow in size and reduce a person’s functionality are the ones that need to be looked further into.


Ganglion Cyst Treatment

  • Aspiration
  • Splinting
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Rest
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery

Tendon Problems

When it comes to the tendons, there are two major issues that can cause problems – tenosynovitis and tendonitis.

Tenosynovitis occurs when the lining of the tendon sheath becomes inflamed. Though the tendon sheath is what usually becomes inflamed, the tendon as well as the sheath can both become inflamed. As of now, the cause of tenosynovitis isn’t known, but experts believe it can be caused by excessive exercise, strain or injury.

As for tendonitis, it is the inflammation of a tendon. This inflammation is usually seen in the fingers and/or wrist but can affect any tendon. When this tendon becomes agitated, the pain, discomfort and swelling will begin. Tendonitis may be related to rheumatoid arthritis and/or even diabetes. Tendon disorders that are common include:

  • Medial epicondylitis: a disorder that is caused by pain from the wrist to the elbow on the front side of the forearm. This condition is also referred to as baseball or golfer’s elbow. The cause of pain is due to the tendon damage that allows the wrist to bend.
  • Lateral epicondylitis: a disorder that is caused by damage to the tendons that allow the wrist to bend backward and away from the palm.
  • DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis: a disorder that is caused by swelling in tendons of the thumb and the tendon sheath. This is the most common form of tenosynovitis.
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis: a disorder caused by an inflamed shoulder capsule and tendons.
  • Trigger thumb/finger: a condition affected by tenosynovitis in which the tendon sheath results in thickening and inflammation. This then prevents the thumb and/or finger from extending smoothly, which results in locking up.

Treating Tendon Problems

  • Ice
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery
  • Activity limitation
  • Immobilization
  • Splinting
  • Anti-inflammatory medication that is non-steroidal

Get a Free Consultation

At Revolution Rehabilitation, PC, your first consultation for your Colorado Springs hand pain and wrist pain therapy is always free. Just give us a call at 719-635-8622 to schedule your appointment.