Are you one of those who have just developed pain on your hands and your elbow . Does your pain make you feel frustrated while at work? If you are working from home ,if you are a housewife, someone with a construction job or even in a warehouse doing repetitive activity using your hands and wrist, then make sure you don’t miss this out .
This pandemic has forced us to work from home and sit long hours in front of the screen. Being static in one position has a huge secondary issue , some of them are extreme fatigue, overuse of muscle and ligaments , decreased blood flow , shoulder ,upper back and neck pain. Most commonly the elbow and forearm pain .
Elbow pain and wrist pain are very common problems . Muscle soreness at the forearm and pain while bending your wrist . You may also feel that your pain could easily be triggered during regular chores such as lifting a frying pan or lifting a heavy box of screwdrivers or sudden forceful bending . I see most of my patients complain about “ I am not able to stir the pot while cooking , I feel completely exhausted at the end of the day after using the computer keyboard.” Well I am not able to lift my grocery bag ‘’ if you can relate to this make sure you hang on until the end of this blog .
- Positioning your wrist :
Your wrist position plays a significant role in managing your pain . Constantly using the wrist on a bending position , bending either up or down , both have significant impact on your pain . 90 % of the muscles that help you bend your wrist actually come from your elbow. Using your wrist in static positions during repetitive activity directly affects your elbow and wrist pain . Position your wrist in a way so that your wrist joint stays straight in what we call ‘ A Neutral Position‘. Repetitively using this muscle in a static position with wrist bend in one direction causes inflammation of your muscle tendon which in turn increases the pressure within your forearm . If neglected , this pressure does compress the nerve in your forearm causing carpal tunnel syndrome .
- Avoid static position for too long (desensitize)
Sometimes I hear from my patient that it’s not practical to keep moving while you are at your desk ,it gets so busy that you get caught up in it and you forget to move and take care of your body . Well exactly ! The solution is so simpler than the consequence of avoiding your regular stretch . Every hour desensitize your wrist and hand by moving it in the opposite direction . For example if you are doing repetitive activity with a slight wrist bending down , take a break and move the wrist in the opposite direction which is slightly bending up . Our muscles in our body work in a very coordinated fashion , they love to be in balance and we need to be mindful about giving that balance to those muscles.
- Stretch and release the muscle in between and take a break .
The other important thing to take care of is releasing muscle tension . Working these small muscles of your forearm all day you definitely create a lot of muscle guarding and tension around your wrist and elbow . As you know after any regular workout like running or Zumba dance work out you always stretch those big muscles of your leg. Similarly , every 2-4 hrs it’s very important to release this muscle tension . You can stretch the muscle on both sides of the forearm . Your therapist can guide you much better on this . Just stretching is not enough , it’s also equally important to maintain a good blood flow around this muscle and the best way is to manually release the muscles with your other hand . All this stretches and muscle release technique can be best taught to you by your therapist .
You Don’t have to put up with your pain. We hear from our patients that they have put up with the pain , changed their lives and relied on medication and injections for nothing more than short term relief if they are lucky. We have been successfully helping our patients out with elbow and wrist pain and we get great results .Our patients feel confident and happy to get back into enjoying their recreational routines .
If you need further help for your ongoing pain and stiffness click HERE. If you have underlying issues that makes these steps difficult for you, click HERE to book an appointment with one of our professionals or give us a call at 905-457-7475 , and let us help you.
We are here to help
Robert Kappes, Registered Physiotherapist
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- Blog Post written by Bimala Odari, Registered Physiotherapist