We use our shoulders and elbows throughout the day—working, exercising, or even just lifting bags of groceries. Athletes or people in certain professions may use more vigorous or recurring motions more frequently. Injuries to the wrist, hand, or arm may cause a loss of sensation and movement, chronic pain, or impaired ability. These problems can seriously inhibit daily activity. VOA treats athletic, repetitive, degenerative, and traumatic hand and upper extremity disorders and injuries, including:
- Rotator Cuff Tears: The muscles and tendons surrounding the top of the upper arm bone hold the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint. Repetitive motion or injury may cause a painful tear of the rotator cuff. Symptoms include consistent pain, especially when the arm is over the head, cracking sounds when the arm is moved, and limited motion.
- Arthritis: This disease affects the joints in the body, including those in the hands, elbow, arm, and shoulder. Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease, caused when the cartilage between joints wears out and bone rubs against bone. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis typically affecting the joints in the fingers, wrists, arms, and legs.
- Tennis Elbow: Also known as elbow tendonitis, this degenerative condition of the tendon fibers attached to the bony "outer" portion of the elbow. The affected tendons fasten the muscles that allow you to extend or lift the wrist and hand. Repetitive and rigorous use of the forearm muscles, such as in playing tennis, may result in deterioration of the involved tendons. The result is often a severe, burning pain in the outside part of the elbow.
- Biceps Tendonitis: The biceps muscle in the front upper arm stabilizes the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. Tendons connect the biceps muscle to the shoulder, as well as the lower arm. The biceps controls arm movements over your head, such as swinging a tennis racket or throwing a ball. Tendonitis occurs when tendons become irritated or inflamed. Injuries to the biceps tendons are typically caused by repetitive motion. The result is often pain when the arm is over the head or bent, or a snapping sound in the shoulder area. Shoulder tendonitis is also treated at VOA.
If you are experiencing shoulder, arm, or elbow problems, talk with your primary care physician about a referral to Valley Orthopedic Associates or call VOA at 425-656-5060.
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