Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder Injuries You May Be Susceptible To

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Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder Injuries You May Be Susceptible To

Last updated: Thursday, April 14, 2022 | 5 min reading time

In this second instalment of our 2-part series, we zoom in on common upper body joint conditions that affect the wrist, arm and shoulder.

Did you know that sprains, strains and other bodily pains are among the many musculoskeletal conditions that doctors see in their clinics? When it comes to the upper body, musculoskeletal problems and injuries typically involve the wrist, elbow, or shoulder joints.

Let’s take a look at 3 of these common upper body conditions and their causes, symptoms, and available treatments.

Tendinitis of the Wrist (De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis)

Tendinitis of the Wrist

De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is a common condition of the wrist caused by inflammation of the tendons involved in thumb movement. This inflammation and swelling of the tendon usually stems from repeated overuse of the wrist, such as prolonged hours gaming in front of a computer. This can also cause swelling in the tendon sheaths, resulting in pain and restricted movement as the tendons in our wrists are unable to move smoothly.

Signs and symptoms

Pain will be experienced over the side of the wrist near to the thumb, which worsens with movements such as gripping and bending of the wrist. De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is also called "mommy wrist" or “mommy thumb”, as it is very common in new mothers who have to hold and lift their growing babies.

Risk factors

The condition is also commonly seen in middle-aged women, as well as those who engage in activities that involve repetitive hand and wrist motions. These include gaming, gardening or racquet sports. Pregnant women, new mothers, as well as those with rheumatoid arthritis are also susceptible to developing de Quervain’s tenosynovitis.


There are various treatment methods that can help alleviate this condition:

Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s Elbow (Tendinitis of the Elbow)

Tendinitis of the Elbow

Both tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow consist of inflammation around the elbow joint which causes pain. The difference between tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow lies in the location where pain is experienced. In the former, pain is felt on the outer portion of the elbow; whereas in golfer’s elbow, the pain occurs on the inner side of the elbow. Both conditions are likely caused by overuse of the elbow joint or as a result of previous elbow injury.

Signs and symptoms

In tendinitis of the elbow, pain and tenderness is often experienced in the elbow joint itself. It may also be felt in your forearm and wrist. The pain can be worsened with certain movements, such as bending of the wrist and holding onto objects.

Risk factors

Those who engage in activities that involve repetitive motions of the wrist and arm are more likely to develop tennis and golfer’s elbows. This includes golfers, people who play racquet sports and even homemakers who chop and peel often while cooking. The condition may also affect individuals involved in manual work such as plumbing, painting and repairing cars.


There are various treatment options for tendinitis of the elbow, including some that can be done at home.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder occurs when the tissue surrounding your shoulder joint stiffens to the point that the tightness restricts and even inhibits shoulder movement.

Signs and symptoms

Typical symptoms of a frozen shoulder include pain, accompanied by stiffness and aches that may worsen at night. The range of movement of the affected shoulder may also be reduced. Generally, a frozen shoulder undergoes three phases:

Risk factors

Frozen shoulder is associated with conditions such as diabetes, thyroid conditions (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism), Parkinson's disease and previous shoulder injuries. The condition is also more common in women than men, and in middle-aged individuals between the ages of 40 – 60.


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