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Elbow & Wrist Pain

Roaring Fork Valley | Glenwood Springs | Chiropractor

Elbow & Wrist Pain


​​​​​Common Causes Of Elbow & Wrist Pain

Tennis/Golfers Elbow
Pain on the inner (golfers) or outer (tennis) portion of the elbow.  Both are caused by overuse and result in inflammation of the elbow tendons which connect to their respective part.  Wear and tear from overuse (golf/tennis) activities increase stress on the tendons leading to pain, tenderness, and swelling when inflamed.  Symptoms gradually get worse from dull to sharp with decreasing use.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Irritation of the median nerve causing symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning, or aching. These symptoms occur most commonly in the thumb and first 2 1/2 fingers.  Pain at night and hand or wrist weakness are also associated with carpal tunnel.  The median nerve can adhere to other structures anywhere along its course.  Carpal tunnel mostly affects those who make repetitive motions such as typing.

Damage to ligaments is known as sprains.  Damage to muscles is known as strains.  In the elbow, these are classic overuse injuries from repetitive motions.  Sprains and strains can both also result from trauma such as falling on your hand/wrist.  Pain usually develops gradually over time and gets worse with use (gripping, typing).  Restoring mobility reduces future risk of sprains and strains. 

There are many forms of arthritis, but osteoarthritis “wear and tear” commonly affects the wrist joint.  The smooth articular cartilage in the wrist joint gradually wears away from overuse.  Eventually, this results in bone rubbing on bone, leading to pain and stiffness.  Restoring healthy mobility to the wrist decreases stress and limits the friction of bone on bone.

Adhesion, Mobility, & Elbow/Wrist Pain

Muscles from the inner and outer elbow attach to the front and back of the hands, respectively.  These connections make the elbow, wrist, and hand rely on each other.  Although joint shape limits wrist flexion and elbow extension, it’s valuable to assess the motions for difficulty or pain.  From typing to gripping and stability, we rely on our forearm muscles daily.  Overuse is the predominant way for adhesion to develop. 

Adhesion is connective tissue that acts like glue in the body, limiting flexibility and strength.  Forearm adhesion often restricts the most functional ranges of motion in wrist extension and flexion.  Limited wrist mobility increases the risk of pain, tendinosis, and joint degeneration.  Fixing adhesion restores movement and elbow/wrist mechanics, reducing injury risk.  If you experience hand, wrist, or elbow pain, first assess these ranges of motion.

Below are two videos demonstrating how to test yourself for limited wrist mobility.  
If these tests are limited, difficult, or painful,
we can help.

Is limited mobility causing your elbow or wrist pain?
Test Yourself

Wrist Extension

Wrist Flexion

  • Forearm against a wall at shoulder height
  • 1st: grab the palm and pull down                    - hand should be 90º to the wall
  • 2nd: grab all fingers and pull down               - hand about 80º - fingers 65º 

  • Pull wrist/hand down
  • The wrist joint (bones) limit the motion
  • No accurate mobility measurement
  • Testing for pain or difficulty 

These are only general tests of wrist & elbow mobility.  They do not establish a diagnosis.

Patient Testimonial

Dr. Holen is very knowledgeable and will find the root cause of your pain, instead of treating the symptoms. Would highly recommend him to anyone who has tried PT, massage, etc. with no results.

Chris C.

Elbow & Wrist Pain Relief