Elbow and wrist pain are common problems caused by various factors such as overuse, injury, or arthritis. The simplest way to address elbow and wrist pain is to stretch the muscles in the arm and hand through range. Stretching will help reduce muscle tension, which will help with much of the pain you may be experiencing at any of these joints. Manual therapy is another option for people with chronic elbow or wrist pain.
Hence, a certified Musculoskeletal Therapist like Paula Nutting, Your Musculoskeletal Specialist, can teach you numerous exercises that will lengthen and strengthen the muscles around that are problematic in your body. This will usually help alleviate pain in the area.
Myotherapy is another treatment option for people with chronic elbow or wrist pain. Myotherapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles and soft tissues of the body (Healthline, 2016). It is a hands-on treatment that uses massage, stretching, and joint mobilisation techniques to relieve pain and improve mobility.
According to the Myotherapy Association of Australia, Myotherapy is a trusted medical specialty that uses evidence-informed assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation for musculoskeletal pain, dysfunction, and injuries. In simple terms, “It helps people in pain to move better and lead their best lives.”
What can Myotherapy treat?
Physical Therapy Vs. Myotherapy
You may have seen physiotherapy and Myotherapy mentioned online or on TV, but what do these treatments entail? Are they the same thing? Do they offer the same benefits?
In this post, we'll explore the differences between physiotherapy and Myotherapy. We'll outline what each treatment involves, its benefits, and who they're typically recommended for.
Physiotherapy uses physical interventions and education to promote, maintain and restore physical function and health. Physiotherapists work with people of all ages who have a range of health conditions, including musculoskeletal conditions (like arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or sports injuries), neurological conditions (like stroke, Parkinson's disease, or cerebral palsy), respiratory conditions (like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cystic fibrosis), cardiovascular conditions (like coronary artery disease, heart failure or hypertension), metabolic conditions (like diabetes or obesity), and cancer.
A study concluded that physiotherapy provides substantial benefits to Australians at all stages of life and in response to many different life events. Benefits include better quality of life such as reduced pain, increased mobility, reduced burden of disease and longer life expectancy, and avoided costs of healthcare (Australian Physiotherapy Association, 2020).
Physiotherapy is a great option for anyone suffering from injury or illness who wants to regain mobility and quality of life. It can help people of all ages and abilities, from newborns with birth injuries to athletes who have suffered a sports injury to the elderly who are struggling with arthritis.
If you're looking for treatment for a specific condition or want to improve your overall health and wellbeing, physiotherapy could be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, Myotherapy is a type of massage that uses targeted pressure and stretches to release muscle tension. It can treat various issues, including muscle pain, tension headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain. Therefore, Physiotherapy is a holistic treatment that uses various exercises, remedial massage, and body manipulation to help patients recover from injury or illness, while Myotherapy is a more specific approach as it focuses on determining the underlying causes of muscular pain and dysfunction and rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries.
Both physiotherapy and Myotherapy offer a range of benefits that can help improve your quality of life. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort, either of these treatments is worth considering.
Simple Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Elbow and Wrist Pain
If you're experiencing pain in your elbows or wrists, you're not alone. In fact, it's one of the most common musculoskeletal complaints.
There are a number of things you can do to help reduce or prevent elbow and wrist pain. In this blog, we'll share some tips that have been proven effective.
Use Proper Form When Exercising
One of the most common causes of elbow and wrist pain is using the improper form when exercising. Think about the last time you did bicep curls at the gym. If you didn't use proper form, you might have experienced pain in your elbows and wrists. This is because when you curl your arms, you're putting a lot of stress on these joints.
To avoid this pain, make sure to use proper form when exercising. This includes using the correct weight, keeping your back straight, and not locking your elbows.
Take Regular Breaks
When you're stuck in the same position for hours on end, your muscles can start to ache. Not only that, but if you don't take regular breaks, you risk developing musculoskeletal problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and cubital tunnel syndrome.
These problems are caused by compression of the nerves and blood vessels in your elbow and wrist. The symptoms can range from mild discomfort to pain and tingling sensations and, in some cases, can lead to permanent nerve damage.
To avoid these problems, take regular breaks from your workstation. Get up, walk around for a few minutes, or do some stretches. If you can, try to vary your tasks throughout the day so that you're not doing the same thing for hours on end.
Use the Right Equipment
One of the best ways to prevent elbow and wrist pain is to use the right equipment. This includes choosing the right keyboard and mouse and adjusting the height of your chair and computer screen.
When it comes to keyboards, it's important to find one that's comfortable for your hands. The keys should be easy to reach, and the keyboard should be positioned so that your wrists are in a neutral position. You may also want to consider a keyboard with a split design, which can help reduce tension in your wrists. The mouse is also important, as it can strain your wrists if it isn't comfortable to use. Try to find a mouse that fits comfortably in your hand and has buttons that are easy to reach. You may also want to consider a mouse with a scroll wheel, as this can help to reduce movement.
If you're having trouble finding the right equipment or are unsure how to adjust your current setup, talk to a Remedial Massage Therapist for help. They can recommend products and advise on making your workstation more ergonomic.
Don't Overdo It
We get it. You're eager to make a change and start feeling better. But sometimes, less is more. Don't overdo it in the beginning and risk aggravating your injury. Start small and work your way up.
If you're unsure what's causing your pain, consult a therapist or doctor who can help you diagnose the issue. They may prescribe a few simple exercises to help stretch and strengthen the muscles around your elbow and wrist.
Stay patient and be mindful of how your body is feeling. You'll start to see progress if you're consistent with your treatment plan.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Strengthening your muscles is a great way to help prevent elbow and wrist pain. This can be done in several ways, including through exercise, massage, and a brace or splint.
One of the best exercises to help prevent pain is the wrist curl. To do this, you'll need a weight (or canister of water), which you'll hold in your hand with your palm facing down. Next, slowly curl your hand towards your body, keeping your elbow stationary. Hold for a second before lowering the weight back to the starting position. Be sure to repeat on the opposite arm.
If you're looking for a more targeted exercise, try the plank. This exercise works your entire core, as well as your forearm muscles. Start in a push-up position, with your forearms resting on the ground. Hold for 30-60 seconds before repeating.
Stretch Your Muscles
One way to help reduce pain is to stretch your muscles. This can be done before and after you do any activity that might cause pain.
Before you start any activity, stretch the muscles in your arms and hands for a few minutes. You can do this by sitting or standing and reaching your arms as high as possible above your head. You can also clasp your hands behind your back and stretch your shoulders.
After you've finished any activity, take a few minutes to stretch the muscles in your arms and hands again. This time, focus on the muscles in your elbows and wrists. You can do this by gently rotating your wrists in both directions, bending and straightening your fingers, and gently pulling on each finger.
Use Heat or Cold Therapy
You can use heat or cold therapy to help reduce elbow and wrist pain.
Heat therapy can help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or heating gel pack.
Cold therapy can help to reduce swelling and pain. You can use a cold pack, ice pack, or even a bag of frozen vegetables.
Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
If the pain is manageable, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Ibuprofen and aspirin are two of the most common types of pain relievers, and they can be purchased at any local pharmacy.
However, it's important to consult your doctor before taking any medication, as they may not be suitable for everyone. If you're pregnant or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should speak to a health professional before taking any medication.
Get a Massage
Massage is a great way to help relieve muscle tension and stress, which can often lead to pain. If you're experiencing elbow or wrist pain, booking a massage with a remedial massage therapist is a good idea.
Not only will they be able to help relieve the pain, but they can also give you some tips on how to prevent it from happening again.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain and inflammation and has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of conditions.
If you're experiencing elbow or wrist pain, you may consider trying acupuncture. Acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment and can be done in a therapist's office, so it's a great option if you're not comfortable with needles.
Use Trigger Point Injections
One of the most common musculoskeletal pain treatments is trigger point injections. This is a treatment where a small amount of local anaesthetic is injected into the taut muscle fibres causing pain.
The anaesthetic will help release the muscle's tension and stop it from sending pain signals to the brain. This treatment often stops pain straight away and can prevent the need for more invasive treatments further down the track.
Pain in the elbow and wrist can significantly reduce your quality of life. Luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce and prevent this pain. From making small lifestyle changes to seeing a therapist, these tips will help you get on the path to relief. Want to know an easy stretching and massage technique for elbow and wrist pain in just 1 minute?
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Australian Physiotherapy Association. (2020, October 1). Value of physiotherapy in australia. https://australian.physio/sites/default/files/Report_FA_WEB.pdf
Bernstein, S. (2021, July 31). What’s physical therapy? How to feel and function better. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-is-physical-therapy
Myotherapy - better health channel. (n.d.). Better Health Channel Australia. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/myotherapy
What is myotherapy? (n.d.). Myotherapy Association Australia. https://www.myotherapy.org.au/About/Myotherapy