Most types of elbow & wrist pain are caused either by overuse or sports injuries. Tennis elbow is a common term used to describe elbow pain, otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis, and may be treated with physical therapy.

 A physical therapist can help relieve pain and restore motion and strength to the arm, wrist, fingers, and elbow. The therapist can help with recovery as well as injury prevention and future recurrences of tennis elbow.

Why do I have wrist/elbow pain?

  • Symptoms in the wrist and/or elbow can be caused by a myriad of issues. It can be referred pain from the shoulder or neck. It can be caused by repetitive activities, a fracture or dislocation, a muscle strain or ligament sprain, or an irritated nerve.

How long is it going to take?

  • Depending on the chronicity of the condition, how the muscles and ligaments respond to treatment, and the injury/condition the time frame will vary but typically it can take around 2 months before you are back to full function and with a decreased chance for the injury to return.

What are the consequences of not getting help?

  • The tissues may stay irritated, painful, and continue holding you back from important tasks that need to be done.

How can I decrease my wrist/elbow pain?

  • Using ice, heat, compression, and rest will typically help resolve/decrease your elbow/wrist pain. If these avenues have been explored and you are still having discomfort seek a Physical Therapist and decide if it is right for you.

What type of patients do you see for wrist/elbow pain?

  • Sprains/Strains
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfers Elbow
  • Pronator Teres syndrome
  • Radial head dislocations/subluxations
  • Myositis Ossificans
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Nerve Entrapment issues such as carpal tunnel or tunnel of Guyon syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Post fracture
  • Ligament repairs’
  • Nerve decompression surgery such as a Carpal Tunnel release amongst others

How do you treat wrist/elbow pain?

  • We will take a systematic approach and see where the wrist/elbow pain is coming from and treat the cause of your symptoms. We will use exercise, ASTYM, joint mobilizations, stretching, and functional exercises to get you back doing the things that you love.

The Road to Recovery

The physical therapist will work closely with the physician to improve circulation, promote healing and help restore full function as quickly as possible. You physician may also recommend prescription medication to reduce pain and inflammation. 

Expect your physical therapist to:

  • Identify the movement(s) that may have actually caused your injury and help you to avoid them.
  • Identify weaknesses or joint restrictions and correct them.
  • Help reduce pain with treatment techniques and modalities like ultrasound, cold therapy.
  • Prescribe a home exercise program.

Exercise and physical therapy is the only long term solution to recover and prevent injury. Once your tendons have started to heal, physical therapy will help you regain strength and endurance. Treatment may also include cold therapy to reduce swelling, medications to reduce pain and inflammation and rest.

If you or someone you know has forearm pain that interferes with daily activities, ask your physician if physical therapy is right for you. You can also contact us directly and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment right away.


    Learn more about the services that we offer at Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy

    Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy


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    “My condition wasn’t too painful but it had the possibility of becoming much worse over time. I had slight elbow pain that was diagnosed as bicep tendonitis. Physical Therapy helped me overcome this pain and recover from my injury. It also gave me the skills to prevent future injury. I would recommend this ISSPT to others because it has a nice environment with friendly therapists to work with.”

    – Jacob Glick

    “Prior to physical therapy, my right elbow was swollen for about two months and my arm was weak with limited range of motion and pain with activities, movement and when touching around the joint.  I quickly noticed improvements after starting physical therapy at Idaho Spine and Sports Physical Therapy and I no longer have pain, have recovered strength and range of motion and have no more tenderness.  In short, I am back to my full functioning.  I have resumed all my old activities, such as sports and have no more limits or pain with working.  I was referred to Physical Therapy specifically for their ability with ASTYM treatment.  I would recommend them because they are knowledgeable, friendly and effective.  I had a great experience.” -Andy Brooks

    “The pain in my hands, arms and elbows made physical work hard and sleep difficult. Physical therapy has helped bring normalcy back to my life. I would recommend ISSPT to others readily. Thank you for your help.” 

    Michael McBride

    Before physical therapy, I wasn’t able to do a lot of things like lift my own arm over my head or pick something up from the ground. But now I can do both those things without pain. Physical therapy really worked for me and I’m glad I did it.” 

    -Kaitlyn Bunt

    ” My elbow was in constant pain and I had very little strength due to massive amounts of scar tissue. I was given astym therapy to break up the scar tissue and retrain my tendons with weights and exercises. I am thankful for all the therapists and assistants for their care and for their friendship. I am glad to have regained strength and to be out of pain. Thank you!” 

    -Tamara Jensen

    “Initially the elbow area hurt with burning pain with certain movements.  Through 14 weeks, two times per week the pain was reduced steadily until non-existent.  The staff was always pleasant and concerned with my well being.” 

    -Lee Meredith

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