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Three Most Common Upper Limb Injuries and Symptoms

Three Most Common Upper Limb Injuries and Symptoms


The hand and upper extremity of the body perform some of the most important functions on a daily basis, so when you suffer with an upper limb disorder it is important to know what the main symptoms of this condition are.

The main symptoms of upper limb injuries include:

  • Loss of range of motion
  • Weakness
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle Aches

A Work Related Upper limb Disorder (WRULD) can also be referred to as a repetitive strain injury and they can be very bothersome. Upper limb injuries can happen to anyone and they can occur at any time. They are most commonly related to falling on an outstretched hand, and athletes or professionals who do repetitive motions with their hands and wrists are also at higher risk of these type of injuries

Three most common upper limb injuries and symptoms are:

1) Wrist Sprain:

An injury or tear in the ligaments is known as a sprain, but when the muscles stretch or tear this is known as a strain. An acute hand or wrist sprain is more common than an acute strain. Chronic wrist injury can occur in gymnasts, rowers, and golfers. If you suspect a sprain or strain, your doctor may still perform x-rays to confirm that none of the bones are fractured. Once a fracture has been ruled out, an MRI scan can, if necessary, show the extent of the injury to the soft tissues. Our chartered physiotherapists here at our Dublin 4 clinic can aid in the recovery of your wrist injury.

2) Frozen Shoulder:

Frozen shoulder is medically referred to as adhesive capsulitis and it is a common condition in which the articular shoulder capsule swells and stiffens, restricting its mobility. Typically, frozen shoulder only affects one shoulder, but one in five cases affect both shoulders. Sometimes, the term frozen shoulder is used incorrectly in the case of arthritis, even though the two conditions are unrelated. Arthritis can also causes stiffness in the shoulder joint but it is not related to frozen shoulder. Your physiotherapist can distinguish between the two conditions and can advise you appropriately. Commonly, frozen shoulder can develop when you stop using the joint as a result of pain, injury, or a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or a stroke. Frozen shoulder can also occur:

  • After surgery or injury
  • Most often in people aged 40 to 70 years old
  • More often in women, especially in post menopausal women, than in men

3) Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It is otherwise known as lateral epicondylalgia and it is a condition in which the outer part of the elbow becomes sore and tender. It is an overuse injury of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondyle). Tennis elbow is caused by the overuse of arm, forearm, and hand muscles that result in elbow pain. You don’t have to play tennis to get this, but the term is used because it is a very significant injury amongst tennis players. The main symptoms of tennis elbow are:

  • Pain slowly increases around the outside of the elbow. Less often, pain may develop quickly after an acute injury
  • Pain is worse when shaking hands or squeezing objects
  • Pain is made worse by wrist movement

If you would like advice about upper limb injuries, please feel free to contact us here at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic.

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