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Providence Physical Therapy helps patients with many different conditions. Please see the diagram below for information on common conditions we treat and how physical therapy can help you.

About Wrist Fractures
Fractures in the wrist and forearm area are common with falls, as the tendency is to protect oneself during the fall. Common fractures occur in the bones of the forearm near the wrist called the radius and ulna. Two common fractures are called Colles’ fracture and Smith’s fracture. Colles’ fractures typically occur from falls onto an outstretched hand and Smith’s fractures occur from falling backward onto an outstretched hand.

Another common fracture of the wrist and hand is the Scaphoid fracture, which is a small bone in the hand. The scaphoid bone connects with the radius bone of the forearm. Scaphoid fractures are more difficult to heal due to poor circulation to the bone itself.

Fractures are managed medically and depending on the type of fracture and severity you may be placed into a cast or surgically repaired with pins, plates or screws.

How physical therapy helps
During the healing phase typically in a cast or after surgery, the fingers, wrist and elbow become very stiff, range of motion and strength are lost. Physical therapy is very important in the rehabilitative process to help you regain normal range of motion, reduce swelling, resolve pain and regain function of your hand and wrist.

Physical therapy is gentle and will help you quickly resolve your pain while working with your doctor to follow protocol and restore your function. With physical therapy, you can make a complete recovery quickly and safely. Call us today to learn more how we can help you fully recover after a fracture.

About Nerve Injuries
There are many nerves traveling along the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. With injuries to the hand, wrist, forearm or elbow, nerve damage can result. Symptoms may be mild such as mild numbness, tingling or abnormal temperature feelings. In severe cases, muscle function and paralysis can occur.

Many nerve injuries occur because of overuse and chronic swelling. This doesn't allow proper circulation to flow to the nerves, affecting their functioning. Poor posture while doing common activities generally causes overuse injuries and chronic swelling. If you have significant nerve sensations into your arm, wrist or hand, it is important to follow up with us and your physician.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is very important to the healing aspect of nerve injuries. Whether mild from a small injury or severe after surgery, our experts work with you and your physician to facilitate your recovery.

The emphasis of physical therapy is on removing pressure from around the nerve by restoring normal tissue movement, joint movement and range of motion. Our hands-on therapy serves to soothe and improve circulation, while stimulating nerves to restore normal function. Call us today to discover how we help relieve your nerve pain and restore normal function.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very common condition and is becoming more frequent. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel in the wrist where major arteries and nerves pass from the forearm into the wrist. One of the primary nerves that pass through this area is called the median nerve. When the ligaments around the carpal tunnel become tight, pressure is applied to the median nerve causing tingling, pain and even loss of sensation to the thumb and first two fingers of the hand.

One of the primary causes of carpal tunnel syndrome is poor posture and repetitive activities such as typing at a computer in the wrong position for many hours a day. The direct pressure on the wrist from the desk along with the repetitive movement of the fingers can lead to a tightening of the carpal tunnel ligaments.

Those at risk of developing carpal tunnel often have neck or shoulder problems on that side that lead to altered posture and movement of the arm. Since the median nerve exits from the neck and passes through the shoulder all the way down to your fingers, carpal tunnel is affected by the flexibility of the nerve higher up.

How physical therapy helps
Physical therapy is one of the first lines of defense in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. It is non-invasive and effective in eliminating symptoms and stopping them from returning.

Our physical therapy treatments focus on improving the mobility of the wrist and spacing of the carpal tunnel so the pressure is relieved on the median nerve. Hands on treatments mobilize tight joints and stretch tight ligaments. Ultrasound and other modalities can reduce deep swelling relieving pressure on the nerve. Finally, strengthening and range of motion exercises can support the wrist and maintain good posture, helping the normal function of the median nerve.

We also focus on long-term results by training you on specific exercises to perform at home and work. Additionally, we train you on proper postural technique to prevent future reoccurrences. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your carpal tunnel syndrome.

About Tendon Repair & Post-surgery Rehab
Common surgeries in the elbow, wrist and hand involve repair of the vast amount of tendons and ligaments in these areas. Depending on the type and extent of your surgery, your physician will recommend physical therapy to help you recover completely from your surgical procedure.

The fingers, hand and wrist are very tightly packed with tendons, ligaments and intricate structures. This means that swelling is very common in these areas after surgery and can become quite stiff leading to loss of range of motion, gripping, dexterity and normal functioning of the fingers, hand, wrist or elbow.

How physical therapy helps
We work closely with your physician and their protocol to ensure a complete recovery from your surgical procedure. Our gentle and specialized hands-on therapy manages the swelling in your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow. The better this swelling is controlled, the faster your recovery can be. Per your surgical rehab protocol, we will progress your range of motion and eventually begin strengthening of the affected areas.

Our goal is to make sure you have a complete recovery with good use of your fingers, hand, wrist or elbow for everyday tasks. For more details on our post-surgical rehab program, call us today!

About Sprain / Strain
Sprains and strains are very common in the hand, wrist and elbow. Sprains refer to injuries of the ligaments (connect bone to bone) and strains refer to injuries of the muscles or tendons (connect muscle to bone). Sprains and strains occur from quick over-stretching of the tissues causing micro-tearing and subsequent injury. Swelling begins as part of the inflammation process, causing pain and difficulty with movement.

The first step in treating sprains or strains in the wrist, elbow, hand or fingers is to rest, ice and elevate it. With severe limitations in movement you should see your physical therapist right away. There are different levels of sprain or strain from mild to severe. In some cases, the tearing can be complete and even need surgical repair.

How physical therapy helps
In most cases, physical therapy can effectively help you recover from a sprain or strain. We first evaluate the injured area to determine the extent of the injury and ensure that the ligaments or tendons are still intact. After we pinpoint the injured area, we formulate a treatment plan that will quickly relieve your swelling, pain and begin restoring range of motion.

The goal of physical therapy is to restore your normal range of motion and eventually restore normal strength. If you participate in sports or are very active, we work closely with you to make sure that we help you fully recover and can participate in those activities you love to do. Call us today to discover how we can effectively treat your sprains or strains.