PTII: Treating Upper Extremity Injuries

Health&Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

Treating Upper Extremity Injuries

Are you athletic? Perhaps you played tennis in high school or you just can’t get enough of baseball. These sports require repetitive throwing and swinging motions that can lead to upper extremity injuries with time.

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Albert E. Knuth, M.D.

Al Flores, PT, CFCE Director of Rehab

Health & Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

Treating Upper Extremity Injuries

• Golfer’s elbow. This is another colloquial term, used to describe an overuse injury causing muscle inflammation inside the elbow. It is also sometimes referred to as “Little Leaguer’s Elbow.” This injury runs from the bony point of your elbow and can stretch down your forearm, making it difficult to extend or lift your arm. Sports and activities that generally result in golfer’s elbow include golf, baseball, softball, bowling, and gardening. • Flexor tendinitis. This is an overuse injury that causes swelling in the tendons that control your hand movement, making it difficult to bend your fingers and move your hand or elbow. Flexor tendinitis is typically associated with sports that require constant throwing, such as softball, baseball, football, or shot put. • Frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder can result from either an acute injury or an overuse injury. It occurs when the tissue in your shoulder thickens or scar tissue forms, causing your shoulder to feel as if it’s being “squeezed” and making it difficult to move. • Rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff tears can occur from either acute or overuse causes, as well. For example, falling on an outstretched arm, sustaining a blow to the shoulder, or partaking in repetitive overhead motions (such as those in swimming, softball, baseball, tennis, or football) can all result in rotator cuff tears.This occurs when the muscles or tendons that surround the shoulder joint become damaged or torn.

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Such injuries are common in athletes, and they can affect the hand, arm, elbow, or shoulder. Fortunately, at Physical Therapy Institute of Illinois, we can provide the necessary treatments to ensure a safe, easy, and efficient recovery, making sure you will be able to get back to the sport he or she loves as soon as possible. What are upper extremity injuries? Upper extremity injuries typically fall under one of two categories: acute or overuse. Acute injuries are caused by a single specific incident, such as a strain or tear. Overuse injuries are caused by excessive repetitive movements over time. Some of the most common types of upper extremity injuries include: • Tennis elbow. While this term is colloquially referred to as “tennis elbow,” it can also be caused by other sports and activities, including softball, baseball, raking leaves, and even excessive typing on a computer. Tennis elbow is an overuse injury that results in inflammation of the tendons in the forearm, making it difficult to lift your arm.


At PhysicalTherapy Institute of Illinois, we’ll conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose your upper extremity injury. Afterward, one of our dedicated physical therapists will design a personalized treatment plan based on the specific needs of the diagnosis and the symptoms that you are experiencing. We are happy to say that we also offer preventative screening and sports performance enhancement programs, designed to teach you the techniques needed in order to prevent further injury in the future. Our treatment methods are conservative and non-invasive, aimed at relieving pain and promoting healing. Our physical therapists incorporate specialized methods into their treatment plans as needed, such as manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, or ultrasound. They also provide patients with light stretching and exercise plans, in order to improve their range of motion and overall function in the affected area. The overall goal of physical therapy is healing and prevention. In addition to treating the injury, our physical therapists will help strengthen the affected area, in order to prevent additional injury from occurring. Our physical therapists will also provide you with helpful warm-up and cool- down techniques for your sport, in order to lower their risk of sustaining another injury.

If you have developed an injury in the hand, arm, elbow, or shoulder, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll help diagnose the issue and get you started on the path toward recovery and returning to the beloved sport!

“We highly recommend PT Institute of Illinois. Mike is an excellent PT and very knowledgeable in back rehab. He was awesome at getting my daughter back to the activities she loves. My daughter was very comfortable receiving treatments here and thrilled to be able to get back to cheerleading. The office staff is also very friendly and professional. Appointments were very easy to make and accommodating to our schedule. Thanks Mike!” - C.G. “...staff is also very friendly and professional.”

Come Back In For A Consultation Whether you want to come in for a check-up, suffered a recent injury or you want to improve your health, you can choose the physical therapy practice you want! Come back to PTII for a consultation today!

See our physical therapists for: • Recent injury • Nagging aches and pains • Back and neck pain • Joint pain and movement problems • Walking or balance difficulties

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FOX RIVER GROVE LOCATION: 1009 IL Route 22 Suite 1 Fox River Grove, IL 60021-1998

PARK RIDGE LOCATION: 1550 North Northwest Highway Suite 120 Park Ridge, IL 60068

T 847-462-8707 F 847-462-9208

T 847-298-3079 F 847-298-4019



Try these exercises to get you moving...

PRONE THORACIC EXTENSION Squeeze shoulder blades together and lift head and shoulders off table. Repeat 10 times

LOWER TRAPEZIUS STRENGTHENING Lie on stomach, arm hanging down over edge of bed, keeping elbow straight, lift entire arm with thumb facing toward ceiling up toward head. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Great For Tight Muscles

Great For Shoulder Pain

Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.




Albert E. Knuth, M.D.

Dr. Albert E. Knuth, M.D. is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon specializing in pediatric orthopaedics, limb lengthening, and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Knuth promotes conservative therapy as the first option for his patients, before ever considering surgery.

Dr. Knuth is an active member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, and the Limb Lengthening and Reconstructive Society. Dr. Knuth has been recognized for his compassion and excellence in the care of his patients. As a father of five children, and foster father to many more, he prides himself in understanding the parent child relationship and its impact on medical care. His one and only goal is to provide the finest quality of pediatric and adolescent orthopaedic care in a comfortable and caring environment. He listens to his patients and works closely with physical and occupational therapists to get the best outcomes with conservative treatment or post-operatively.

He has been practicing in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago since 1998. His special interests are pediatric fracture care, club foot, scoliosis, and limb length inequality. After completing his undergraduate education, medical school, and Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, (Go Cats!), Dr. Knuth completed his Pediatric Orthopaedic and Scoliosis Fellowship at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas.

Dr. Knuth enjoys spending time with his wife and five daughters. He is an avid sports fan and likes his rock ‘n’ roll music.

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