The most common causes of musculoskeletal related elbow and hand pain typically involve muscular tightness, tendon irritation, joint restoration and ligament sprains. Often elbow and hand pain present with multiple soft tissues being involved and one will present with pain, limited range of motion, joint restriction and muscular fatigue and weakness.

Common elbow pain conditions include tennis and golfers elbow and tightness in the biceps and brachioradialis muscles. In some less common complaints, one may feel pins and needles, numbness and tingling that relates to the ulnar nerve near the inside of the elbow (the funny bone) or the medial nerve where it travels through the pronator teres (forearm muscles).

Common hand and wrist complaints typically involve joint and ligament sprains, overuse of tendons (De Quervains tenosynovitis) or arthritis of the fingers. Trauma injuries to the elbow, wrist and hand must always be reviewed for possible fractures to the radius, ulnar, carpal bones in the wrist and metacarpal and phalanges.

For those individuals who experience acute or chronic elbow, wrist and hand strains and sprains, seeing an osteopath at Principle Four Osteopathy will help with identifying the type of injury you have, as well as providing an appropriate treatment and management plan. 


  • The most common overuse injuries of the elbow, wrist and hand include golfers and tennis elbow (medial and lateral tendinopathy) and De Quervains tenosynovitis (tendinopathy of the muscles of the thumb).
  • Individuals with elbow, wrist and hand pain where there is numbness, tingling and weakness, it is important to consult your osteopath to rule out any referred pain from the neck or involvement of nerves such as carpal tunnel syndrome. 
  • Common signs and symptoms of strains and sprains affecting the elbow, wrist and hand include muscle stiffness, weakness, pain and joint stiffness.

The True Cost Of Hand, Wrist And Elbow Pain

Pain and injury can have a significant impact on all aspects of life including daily activities, family life, work, recreation and social activities.

Most strains and sprains, injuries will improve over weeks through activity modification, rest and osteopathic treatment.

For more chronic complaints, these can take weeks through to months and will required a structured plan that incorporates a combination of rest, activity modification, manual therapy and guided exercise rehab and strength and conditioning.


The most common causes of hand, wrist and elbow:

  • OVERUSE: The most common causes of musculoskeletal elbow, wrist and hand pain are usually related to repetitive use activities. This especially relates to those individuals who have tendinopathy overuse complaints. 
  • TRAUMA: Trauma is another common cause of injuries to the elbow, wrist and hand and should you attend your osteopath following a traumatic injury, they will review you and send you off for imaging if there is suspected bone or nerve damage via the hospital or general practitioner.  If there are no breaks, they will provide treatment to assist in your recovery. 
  • SPORTS: Golf, Tennis, Cricket, Bowling, Hocky, Baseball, Basketball and Snowsports are all common sports where one is at risk of developing an elbow, wrist or hand injury due to trauma or repetitive overuse. 
  • WORK: Jobs involving frequent manual handling or repetitive computer work tasks may increase ones risk of developing an overuse or acute traumatic injury. 



Acute trauma such as a fall is a common cause of injury to the elbow, wrist and hand.  These injuries are likely to involve a fracture, dislocation or strain or sprain.  Individuals who use their upper limb repetitively through work, sports or other activities of daily living are more likely to develop muscular strains and tendinopathies of the elbow, wrist and hand. 




If you have had a traumatic injury .i.e. fall or crush injury, please visit your hospital asap to rule out any fractures or dislocations of the bones at the elbow, wrist and hand. If you have a recent injury or reoccuring pain seek treatment from a allied health provider.




The vast majority of strains and sprains of elbow, wrist and hand will improve over 2-6 weeks.  Traumatic injuries such as fall resulting in a ligament sprain or joint break may require immobilisation and a longer healing time.  Whilst these injuries are often painful and impact one for a short period of time, rarely do they become chronic in nature.




Book an osteopathy consultation with one of our industry leading osteos.


Note: Private health claiming is available onsite for all osteopathy consults. Please consult your private health fund provider to determine your osteopathy rebate for our initial and subsequent osteopathy consultations..


  • Step 1:  Booking your consult –  Once you have booked a consult with one of our osteopaths, you will be sent a confirmation email and a pre consult questionnaire.  We want to find out why you have booked to see us and what you would like to get out of your consultation
  • Step 2:  Assess, Diagnose ad provide symptom relief – Your initial osteopathic consultation will take about 60 minutes in duration and during this consultation we will listen and talk to you about your complaint and what your goals are.  We will then take you through a comprehensive assessment and then discuss with you our findings and recommended treatment and management plan.  Treatment and management may include manual therapy to provide symptom relief and then a discussion around pain management and symptoms modification strategies. If you require a referral elsewhere, we will discuss this with you and facilitate this.
  • Step 3:  Improve capacity and performance –  Once your symptoms are under control, our goal will be to assist you with building your functional capacity, ability to perform everyday activities without pain and performance.  Our osteopaths will work with you to provide you with strategies to do so.  This may include exercise and  work related assessments and training.

Osteopathy For Hand, Wrist And Elbow Pain

If you have pain, stiffness, tension, muscular weakness that affecting your elbow, wrist and hand when using your upper limb, consult your osteopath so that a diagnosis can be made and then an appropriate treatment and management plan can be implemented.

The vast majority of strains and sprains affecting the elbow, wrist and hand should show improvement over several weeks and osteopathy treatment may assist in reducing your pain, relieving muscular tension and improving joint mobility.

For those individuals with more complex or chronic elbow, wrist or hand complaints, osteopathy treatment and management may also involve a review of your workplace hazards and risks and treatment and management that involves shockwave therapy, dry needling, bracing and exercise rehabilitation.

In some situations, a multidisciplinary approach is best and a referral to a sports doctor or medical professional may also be ensiled to assist in pain management and to discuss further interventions.

Can Osteopath Help With Elbow Pain

The most common causes of elbow pain include golfers and tennis elbow. These two conditions involved the muscles and tendons that insert on the inside and outside of the elbow. Both are overuse related complaints. Your osteopath will take a detailed case history, perform a physical assessment and then utilise manual therapy to assist in pain management and improving your movement. Your osteopath may also provide advice on bracing to offload the tendon, utilise shockwave therapy and dry needling as well as provide exercises for pain modulation and strengthening. Typically your osteopath will also review your wrist, hand, shoulder girdle and neck as these regions can also play a role through compensation from your elbow pain.

Can Osteopath Help With Wrist and Hand Pain

The most common causes of wrist and hand pain that are musculoskeletal in origin typically include tendinopathies of the muscles of the thumb and sprains to ligaments around the wrist and hand.

The osteopath will help to reduce pain and improve mobility and function through the use of manual therapy as well as prescription of bracing and exercises where appropriate. In some situations a referral to a doctor or sports medical doctor may be of benefit for pain medication and or imaging and consideration of injection based interventions.

Book An Osteopathy Treatment For Hand, Wrist And Elbow Injury

Our osteopaths learn specific treatments to for injuries relating to the hand, wrist and elbow. If you are injured or pain book a treatment with one of our osteopaths at Principle Four Osteopathy on Collins St Melbourne CBD.



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