Forearm/Hand Atrophy & Tendinitis

I worked as a massage therapist for a chiropractor that ran me into the ground during the 8 months I worked there. Despite enormous attention to self care, I developed tendonitis & muscle atrophy in both my forearms & hands (left side is worse & I am RH dominant) that is now affecting the entire arms. I've also developed problems with grip strength & thumbs "hanging up." I have been suffering with this for over a year now & stopped practicing massage entirely. An EMG revealed the tendonitis & I followed all instructions of: rest for 5 weeks when I was initially injured, icing regularly & taking Aleve as well as very drastically limiting my workload as a therapist. I had to stop practicing 6 months after the injury because of my decreased ability to perform. I have currently been out of practice about 8 months with zero improvement.

I am involved in the wholeworker's comp thing, and the one medical evaluation I have been to so far has determined the issues are permanent & no treatment is recommended. The humidity makes my life a living hell as far as pain & inflammation, and the increase in muscle fatigue has been alarming. I need restrengthening exercises & am unsure where to start. I have continued to do doorway stretches to combat the forward posture that has developed. Wrist extensor/flexor stretches are difficult because I would need to hyperflex/extend in order to feel a stretch. Both hands & forearms along the wrist extensors are laden with trigger points. I have a positive Finklestein test > left side.

Is exercise using 5 lb weights appropriate to rebuild strength, and what other types of rehad would be appropriate? I have continued to ice regularly, use tennis & golf balls to roll over everything, drink TONS of water..I am afraid of ending up with "dead arms" because of this! I was a formerly very active person, who took care to adjust upper body exercise to the work I was doing.

Posted By Jennifer on July 13, 2013 at 10:02:26:

Allows full dexterity of the fingers and thumb, yet limits wrist flexion. Longer length for greater wrist control and increased immobilization. Latex Free.

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Ask The Physical Therapist ] [ Disclaimer ]
Follow Ups
Post Followup




Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Ask The Physical Therapist ] [ Disclaimer ]

    We offer you an opportunity to ask specific questions to knowledgeable professionals. Any information posted on is intended for general informational purposes only and is not medical advice, and should not be construed as medical opinion, diagnosis or treatment. See your health-care professional for medical advice and treatment.
Ask the Physical Therapist (Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainer)
Ask the Orthotist (Orthopedic braces and supports specialist)
Ask the Chiropractor (Back and Spine Specialist)