Pain in elbow or wrist



Elbow and wrist pain can significantly affect quality of life, limiting daily and professional activities. In manual medicine, laser therapy and shockwave are innovative and effective approaches to treating this pain. These methods offer non-invasive and targeted solutions, tailored to individual patient needs.


Elbow and wrist pain, although often overlooked, can have a profound impact on daily life. This pain can come from a variety of causes, ranging from everyday wear and tear to specific injuries. Understanding these conditions and their treatments is essential for those seeking lasting relief.


The importance of these treatments lies in their ability to target the underlying cause of the pain, rather than focusing only on the symptoms. This integrated approach not only helps relieve short-term pain, but also promotes long-term healing, providing a better quality of life for patients.


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Anatomy of the Elbow and Wrist


In addition to their crucial role in movement, the elbow and wrist are also important for dexterity and strength. The muscles, tendons and ligaments in these areas work in harmony to enable a variety of movements, from fine grip to brute strength.


The complexity of these structures makes the diagnosis and treatment of elbow and wrist pain particularly difficult. A thorough understanding of anatomy is essential to correctly identify the causes of pain and develop an effective treatment plan.


Structure and Function

The elbow and wrist are sophisticated joint complexes, essential for movement of the arms and hands. The elbow joins the forearm to the humerus, while the wrist connects the hand to the forearm. These joints are supported by various ligaments, tendons, and muscles that facilitate a wide range of movement.


Injury Vulnerable Areas

The areas around the elbow and wrist are particularly vulnerable to injury from their constant use and exposure to repetitive forces. The tendons and ligaments in these areas can be put under excessive strain, leading to inflammation and pain.


Common Conditions Affecting the Elbow

Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)

Lateral epicondylitis, commonly called tennis elbow, is a condition characterized by pain on the outer side of the elbow. It is often caused by repetitive movements of the wrist and forearm, leading to overload of the tendons.


Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)

Similar to tennis elbow, medial epicondylitis, or golfer's elbow, affects the inner side of the elbow. This condition results from overuse of the muscles that flex the wrist and fist.


Elbow Bursitis

Elbow bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa located between the skin and bones of the elbow. It can be caused by trauma, infections or chronic inflammatory conditions.


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Besides lateral and medial epicondylitis, other conditions such as sprains, dislocations, and neuropathies can also affect the elbow. Each of these conditions requires a specific treatment approach, highlighting the importance of an accurate diagnosis.


Managing these conditions often involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and in some cases more advanced medical procedures. Understanding the specific nature of each condition is crucial to choosing the most appropriate treatment.


Symptoms and Diagnosis of Elbow Conditions

Common Signs

Symptoms of ailments elbow include pain, swelling, tenderness to touch and decreased strength and mobility. These symptoms may worsen with certain activities or movements.


Diagnostic Methods

Diagnosing elbow conditions involves a thorough physical examination, the patient's medical history, and perhaps imaging tests like X-rays, MRI, or ultrasound to assess the extent of tissue damage.


Symptoms can vary greatly from person to person, making accurate diagnosis even more crucial. For example, some patients may experience sharp pain, while others may feel a dull ache or weakness in the arm.


Advanced diagnostic methods, such as biomechanics analysis and electrodiagnostic testing, can be used alongside physical examinations and imaging tests to obtain a complete picture of the condition.


Manual Treatments for Elbow Conditions

Specific Techniques

Manual treatments for elbow conditions may include joint manipulation, gentle mobilizations, and myofascial release techniques. These methods aim to restore mobility, reduce pain and improve function.


Expected results

Patients can expect reduced pain and improved mobility. Manual treatments are often supplemented with advice on ergonomics and specific exercises to strengthen and stabilize the elbow joint.


Manual treatments should be tailored to the individual, taking into account not only the specific condition, but also the patient's age, activity level, and overall health goals.


Patient education on self-care techniques and lifestyle modifications also plays a crucial role in the treatment of elbow conditions, as it helps prevent recurrence and promote lasting healing.


Laser Therapy for the Elbow

Application and Effectiveness

Laser therapy for the treatment of elbow pain uses low-intensity beams of light to stimulate healing of damaged tissue. This method is particularly effective in treating inflammation and soft tissue damage, such as lateral and medial epicondylitis. The laser promotes cellular repair and reduction of inflammation, leading to decreased pain and improved function.


Treatment Protocol

Laser treatment for the elbow is usually carried out in series of sessions, with the frequency and duration depending on the severity of the condition. Sessions are short, generally pain-free, and require no recovery time, allowing patients to quickly return to daily activities. It is important that these treatments are carried out by qualified professionals to ensure safety and effectiveness.


Shockwave treatment for the elbow

Mechanism and Advantages

Shockwave therapy for the elbow uses high-energy acoustic waves to treat painful areas and damaged tissue. This method is particularly effective for chronic conditions, such as epicondylitis resistant to conventional treatments. It stimulates healing by increasing blood circulation and accelerating tissue repair processes. Additionally, it can help break down calcifications and tissue adhesions.


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Progress of the Sessions

Shockwave therapy sessions are generally short, and patients may experience some discomfort during treatment, although this is generally well tolerated. The number of sessions needed varies depending on the condition being treated and the patient's individual response. As with laser therapy, it is crucial that shockwave therapy is administered by trained professionals to ensure safe and effective application.


These treatments, when integrated into a comprehensive care plan, can offer significant solutions for pain management and rehabilitation of elbow conditions. They represent advanced therapeutic options that complement traditional approaches, providing patients with non-invasive and effective alternatives for pain relief and functional recovery. It is important to note that these treatments should be personalized to the specific needs of each patient and carried out in coordination with other forms of manual therapy and rehabilitation to achieve the best results.


Common Conditions Affecting the Wrist

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist, leading to pain, numbness and weakness in the hand.


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Wrist Tendonitis

Wrist tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons around the wrist, often due to repetitive movements or overuse.


Wrist Arthritis

Wrist arthritis can result from wear and tear, inflammation or trauma, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.


In addition to carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis, conditions such as wrist instability and stress fractures can also cause pain and dysfunction. These conditions can be particularly disabling because they affect the ability to perform simple daily tasks.


Management of these conditions often requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving manual medicine specialists, therapists and sometimes surgeons. Collaboration between these professionals is essential to ensure complete and effective treatment.


Symptoms and Diagnosis of Wrist Conditions

Common Signs

Symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased wrist strength and mobility. These symptoms may vary depending on activity and time of day.


Diagnostic Methods

Diagnosing wrist conditions may require a physical examination, analysis of the patient's medical history, and imaging tests such as MRI, ultrasound, or X-rays.


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Symptoms of wrist conditions may also include changes in sensation, such as tingling or numbness, which may indicate nerve involvement. These symptoms may require special attention to avoid long-term complications.


In addition to physical exams and imaging tests, diagnosing wrist conditions may also involve specific functional tests. These tests help assess the impact of the condition on the patient's ability to perform specific movements.


Wrist Pain Related to Displaced or Dislocated Ossicles

Another common cause of wrist pain is the displacement or dislocation of the small ossicles that make up this complex joint. The wrist is made up of several small bones, called carpal bones, which, when displaced or dislocated, can lead to pain, decreased mobility, and dysfunction.


Mechanism of Pain Related to Displaced Ossicles

  • Trauma and Repetitive Movements : Dislocations or displacements of the wrist ossicles can be caused by direct trauma, such as a fall on the outstretched hand, or by repetitive movements that place excessive pressure on the wrist.
  • Joint Instability : These movements can lead to instability in the wrist, affecting the normal alignment and function of surrounding bones, ligaments and tendons.


Symptoms Indicators

  • Localized Pain : Acute or chronic pain localized in a specific area of the wrist.
  • Cracking or Popping : Abnormal sensations such as cracking or popping sounds during wrist movements.
  • Decreased Mobility : Restriction of wrist movements, difficulty performing certain tasks.


Treatments by Manipulation or Mobilization

  • Bone Manipulations : Bone manipulations, carried out by qualified professionals such as osteopaths, can help reposition displaced ossicles. This technique aims to restore correct alignment and improve joint function.
  • Soft Mobilizations : Gentle mobilizations are more subtle techniques that aim to increase joint mobility and reduce pain. They are often used in addition to manipulations to improve results.
  • Holistic Approach : In addition to manipulations and mobilizations, a holistic approach may include complementary therapies such as cold/hot therapy, strengthening exercises and ergonomic advice to prevent recurrence.


Importance of Professional Assessment

  • Accurate Diagnosis : A thorough clinical examination is necessary to confirm that the pain is due to displaced or dislocated ossicles. Imaging tests like X-rays or MRI may be required.
  • Personalized Treatment Plan : Each case of displacement or dislocation of the wrist ossicles is unique, requiring a personalized treatment plan to meet the specific needs of the patient.


In summary, wrist pain due to displaced or dislocated ossicles requires special attention and a specialized treatment approach. Manipulations and mobilizations, when performed by experienced professionals, can provide significant relief and contribute to optimal functional recovery.


Manual Treatments for Wrist Conditions

Specific Techniques

Manual treatments for the wrist may include joint adjustments, gentle mobilization techniques, and soft tissue release methods. These techniques aim to improve the function, reduce pain and promote healing.


Expected results

Patients can expect improved mobility and reduced pain. Advice on activity modifications and specific exercises can also be provided to support recovery.


Manual treatments for the wrist may also include taping or bandaging techniques, which provide support and stabilization, while allowing some mobility to promote healing.


The treatment approach may also incorporate complementary modalities, such as thermotherapy or cryotherapy, to improve the effectiveness of manual treatments and speed recovery.


Laser Therapy for Elbow and Wrist

Functioning principles

The laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate tissue healing, reduce inflammation and decrease pain. She is particularly effective in treating soft tissue and inflammatory conditions.


Benefits and Effectiveness

The therapy in laser is non-invasive, painless and can speed recovery. It is effective in treating a variety of conditions, including tendinitis, bursitis, and inflammation-related disorders.


In addition to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, laser therapy can also stimulate tissue regeneration, which is particularly beneficial in cases of tendon or ligament injuries.


Laser therapy can be used in combination with other forms of treatment, such as manual therapy or therapeutic exercises, to create a holistic, personalized treatment plan.


Shockwave Therapy for Elbow and Wrist

Action mechanism

The shockwave therapy is a non-invasive modality that uses acoustic waves to stimulate healing in affected tissues. It promotes regeneration and restorative processes in tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues.


Benefits and Indications

This therapy is particularly useful for chronic conditions that have not responded to traditional treatments. It is effective in treating epicondylitis, tendinitis and other conditions of the elbow and wrist.


Shockwave therapy is particularly effective for chronic conditions that have not responded to traditional treatment approaches, offering a new avenue of hope for patients suffering from persistent pain.


This therapy may also play a role in preventing recurrence, by treating not only the symptoms but also addressing the underlying causes of pain and dysfunction.


Prevention and Long-Term Care

Prevention Tips

To prevent elbow and wrist injuries, it is important to maintain good ergonomics at work and during sporting activities. Regular strengthening and stretching exercises can also help maintain joint health.


Importance of Monitoring

Regular follow-up with a healthcare professional is crucial to monitor progress and adjust treatments as needed. This also helps ensure that patients maintain good joint health practices.


Educating patients on proper stretching and strengthening techniques is a crucial aspect of prevention. These techniques help maintain flexibility and strength in the elbow and wrist joints, reducing the risk of future injuries.


Regular checkups and follow-up with a healthcare professional are also important to monitor joint conditions and adjust treatment plans as needed, ensuring effective long-term management.


Elbow and Wrist Pain of Cervical Origin

It is important to recognize that elbow and wrist pain can sometimes have an origin that is not local, but rather linked to a condition at the cervical level. This situation occurs when problems in the cervical spine, such as herniated discs, osteoarthritis, or spinal misalignments, lead to compression or irritation of the nerves. These nerves, starting from the neck, branch and descend along the arm to the elbow and wrist, thus being able to cause radiating pain in these regions.


Mechanism of Radiating Pain

  • Nerve Compression : A herniated disc or spinal misalignment in the cervical region can compress the nerves that travel to the arms. This compression can cause pain, tingling, or a burning sensation that radiates to the elbow or wrist.
  • Nervous Irritation : Inflammation or osteoarthritis at the cervical level can irritate the nerves. This irritation can also cause radiating pain, even in the absence of direct nerve compression.


Symptoms Indicators

  • Radiating Pain : Pain that starts in the neck and spreads to the elbow or wrist.
  • Abnormal Sensations : Tingling, numbness or weakness in the arm, elbow or wrist.
  • Worsened with Neck Movements : Pain or abnormal sensations intensify with certain neck movements or positions.


Potential Treatments

  • Spinal decompression therapy : This technique is particularly effective for treating pain due to cervical problems. It aims to relieve pressure on compressed nerves, thereby reducing radiating pain.
  • Osteopathy : Osteopathy can help improve cervical alignment and reduce tension in musculoskeletal structures. It aims to restore mobility and reduce nerve irritation, which can be beneficial for radiating pain in the elbow and wrist.
  • Multidisciplinary approach : A combination of treatments, including manual adjustments, physical therapies, and ergonomic counseling, may be necessary to effectively treat radiating pain originating from the cervical region.


Importance of Accurate Diagnosis

  • Clinical Evaluation : A thorough examination by a healthcare professional is essential to determine whether elbow or wrist pain is indeed cervical in origin.
  • Imaging and Diagnostic Tests : Tests such as MRI or X-ray of the cervical spine may be necessary to identify the exact source of the nerve compression or irritation.


In conclusion, elbow and wrist pain should not always be considered in isolation. When this pain is accompanied by cervical symptoms or worsens with neck movements, it is crucial to consider a possible cervical origin. An accurate diagnosis is essential to direct treatment appropriately, targeting not only local symptoms at the elbow and wrist, but also treating the underlying cause at the cervical level. This ensures a more comprehensive and effective treatment approach, providing long-lasting pain relief and improving the patient's quality of life.



Summary of Treatments

Elbow and wrist conditions can be effectively treated with a combination of manual therapies, laser therapy, shockwave therapy and sometimes spinal decompression therapy. These treatments offer non-invasive, targeted solutions to reduce pain and improve function.


Here is a table summarizing conditions affecting the elbow and wrist, as well as the effectiveness of treatments using laser therapy, shockwave, spinal decompression therapy and osteopathy. Please note that effectiveness may vary in individual cases and should be assessed by a healthcare professional.


Condition Affected Area Laser Therapy Shockwave Osteopathy Spinal decompression therapy
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) Elbow Effective in reducing inflammation and pain, stimulates tissue healing Effective for chronic cases, stimulates tissue regeneration Helps improve mobility and reduce muscle tension Not applicable
Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow) Elbow Effective in reducing inflammation and speeding healing Useful for conditions resistant to traditional treatments Improves joint function and relieves pain Not applicable
Elbow Bursitis Elbow Reduces inflammation and pain, promotes healing May be beneficial in reducing chronic inflammation Helps reduce pressure and improve mobility Not applicable
Carpal tunnel syndrome Wrist Effective in decreasing inflammation and pain, improves nerve function Useful for relieving pain and improving function Helps release pressure on the median nerve, improves mobility Not applicable
Wrist Tendonitis Wrist Accelerates tissue healing, reduces inflammation and pain Effective for chronic tendonitis, stimulates healing Improves circulation and reduces tension in tendons Not applicable
Wrist Arthritis Wrist Helps reduce pain and inflammation, improves mobility May help relieve pain and improve function Helps improve joint mobility and reduce pain Not applicable
Radiating Pain from the Neck Neck May help reduce local inflammation and pain Can be used to treat associated soft tissues Helps relieve muscle tension and improves alignment Effective in reducing pressure on nerves, relieves pain


Neurovertebral decompression is particularly relevant for radiating pain originating from the neck, as it aims to relieve pressure on the nerve structures of the spine. This method can be very effective in treating pain related to disc or spinal alignment problems. Osteopathy, on the other hand, offers a holistic approach to treating musculoskeletal imbalances that can contribute to radiating pain.


Encouragement of Professional Consultation

It is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Manual therapies, laser therapy and shockwave therapy should be administered by qualified practitioners to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.


In summary, the management of elbow and wrist pain requires a multidisciplinary and personalized approach. Advances in treatments manuals, laser therapy ande shockwave offer promising options for those looking to relieve pain and improve their quality of life.


In conclusion, effective management of elbow and wrist pain requires a comprehensive and personalized approach. The use of manual therapies, laser therapy, and shockwave, in combination with appropriate education and lifestyle modifications, can provide significant relief and improve patients' quality of life.


It is essential for patients to seek professional care and follow the recommendations of manual medicine specialists to ensure complete recovery and prevent recurrence. Collaboration between patients and healthcare professionals is the key to achieving the best possible results in the treatment of elbow and wrist pain.


  1. Laser Therapy for the Elbow : Discover how our innovative laser therapy can effectively relieve elbow pain, by stimulating tissue healing. For more information, visit Laser Therapy – TAGMED Clinic.
  2. Shockwave Therapy for the Elbow : Learn more about the benefits of shockwave therapy for treating chronic elbow conditions, such as epicondylitis. More details are available at Shockwave Therapy – TAGMED Clinic.
  3. Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) : Find effective solutions for tennis elbow, including manual treatments and laser therapy. Visit our page dedicated to lateral epicondylitis on Lateral Epicondylitis – TAGMED Clinic.
  4. Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow) : Explore treatment options for golfer's elbow, including shockwave therapy. To learn more, visit Medial Epicondylitis – TAGMED Clinic.
  5. Carpal tunnel syndrome : Get detailed information about carpal tunnel syndrome and available treatments, including manual therapy. Visit Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – TAGMED Clinic.
  6. Wrist Tendonitis : Learn how we treat wrist tendinitis with non-invasive approaches. More information on Wrist Tendonitis – TAGMED Clinic.
  7. Wrist Arthritis : Learn more about our treatments for wrist arthritis, including advanced methods like laser therapy. Consult Wrist Arthritis – TAGMED Clinic.
  8. Elbow and Wrist Injury Prevention : Visit our prevention section for tips on how to protect your elbows and wrists from injury. Meeting on Injury Prevention – TAGMED Clinic.
  9. Professional Consultation for Elbow and Wrist Pain : Make an appointment with our experts for a personalized assessment of your elbow and wrist pain. Visit Professional Consultation – TAGMED Clinic.