Common Upper Body Injuries symptoms and treatments
Upper body injuries are extremely common, especially amongst athletes. They mostly arise due to trauma and overuse. And often, an injury anywhere on the upper extremity can be infuriating and greatly affect your quality of life. That’s why our physical therapist in Rock Hill, Mo recommends scheduling a consultation at the first sign of trouble. Remember, you are likely to continue using your upper limbs provided the pain isn’t severe or you don’t suffer from loss of movement. Without proper treatment, your condition can quickly exacerbate. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common upper limb injuries, covering aspects such as their causes, symptoms, and treatments. Without further ado, let’s jump in.
Millions of people worldwide suffer from arthritis, osteoarthritis being one of the most common forms of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage covering the surface of the bones thins out rendering the surface rougher. As a result, a patient’s joint might stop moving as smoothly as it normally does. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. But the disorder mostly affects the hands, fingers, shoulder, spine, and knees. Symptoms of OA include joint pain and stiffness, inflammation, loss of flexibility or reduced range of motion, tenderness, crackling and more. Treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms. But on the minimum, a physician may suggest taking medications, making lifestyle changes, experimenting with hot and cold remedies, and physical therapy.
Rotator cuff tendonitis
Rotor cuff tendinitis is an upper-body injury involving the shoulder joint. It’s particularly common among people who indulge in a lot of throwing and swinging of their arms. For instance, swimming and boxing athletes. Symptoms of rotator cuff tendinitis range from swelling and tenderness in the front of the arm, a clicking sound when raising your arm, joint stiffness, loss of mobility, or range of motion. Like most upper body injuries, symptoms often get worse with time. As part of the treatment, your physician will recommend minimizing activities requiring the use of that area, applying ice packs, and taking anti-inflammatory medication to reduce arm and shoulder pain.
A dislocated shoulder occurs when the upper arm bone is forced out of its cup-shaped socket. As the body’s most flexible joint, it’s easy for the shoulder to dislocate. Shoulder dislocation can result in swelling or bruising, intense pain, inability to move the joint and a visibility deformed or out-of-place shoulder. One might also experience numbness, weakness, and a tingling sensation close to the injury. Dislocated shoulder treatment might involve closed reduction (a procedure involving pushing the bones back in place), immobilization with a sling, medication for pain relief, surgery in severe cases, and rehabilitation.
Tennis and Golfer’s elbow
Tennis and golfers are similar conditions, albeit with a few differences. They both occur due to trauma or overuse and affect the forearm’s tendons, tendons that are critical when lifting, gripping, and twisting objects. A weakened tendon means greater stress and can result in pain. The differences between the two conditions come down to which tendon has been affected. To put it simply, golfer’s elbow affects the inner or medial side of your elbow while a tennis elbow affects the outer or lateral side of the elbow. Treatment is usually non-invasive, involving basic exercises and over-the-counter medications. However, you might have to undergo surgery if your condition is too severe.
Don’t let an upper-body injury dictate your life. Our physical therapist in Rock Hill, Mo can get you the help you deserve and get you started on a path free of pain. To learn more or to schedule your first session, contact our team today.