Overuse conditions

There are various overuse conditions that affect the hands, wrists and upper and lower arm. Pain is usually experienced in muscles, nerves, ligaments and/or tendons of these areas.

What are causes overuse conditions or injuries?

Overuse conditions or injuries of the hands and wrists are caused by repetitive strain or improper technique. These conditions are common among those who participate in sports, such as tennis or golf in which a specific motion is repeated, but may also be work-related when a particular job requires repetitive motions.

In an early case, your hand therapist may suggest managing this condition through the following:
  • Neck and thoracic exercises
  • Exercise and reconditioning
  • Splinting
  • Ergonomic advice
  • Task modification
Common overuse conditions:
At the Garden Route Hand Unit, we specialise in the treatment and management of hand, wrist, and elbow overuse injuries such as:
  • De Quervain's tenosynovitis
  • Flexor tendinitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis
  • Gamekeeper's thumb
  • Ganglion cyst
  • Golfer's and tennis elbow
  • Stress fractures of the upper limb
  • Muscle or Tendon Strain in the upper limb
How are overuse conditions and injuries treated?

Symptoms of hand, wrist, and elbow overuse injuries appear in different ways and will depend on the specific case and diagnosis. Commonly pain is experienced, for which treatment is sought. Furthermore, in many cases, the condition will worsen without treatment.

Conservative treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and pain associated with overuse conditions. This may be done with rest, ice, braces, splints and anti-inflammatory medications or non-surgical treatments such as aspiration, physical or occupational therapy with our specialised hand therapists or steroid injections.

For severe cases where these treatment methods fail to relieve pain, surgical options may be explored. Surgery will depend on the specific overuse injury and its affected structures.