Physiotherapy - Upper Limb Conditions

Common Upper Limb Conditions seen and treated by Physiotherapists:

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) e.g. Tennis elbow, Golfers elbow

This is an imflamation of the tissue at the lower end of the upper arm at the elbow joint caused by the repetitive flexion or extension of the wrist against resistance.  It may result from athletic activity or the continued manual manipulation of tools or other types of equipment..

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff of the shoulder is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the humerus (upper arm bone) to the scapula (shoulder blade).  There are a number of ways the rotator cuff can become damaged whether due to inflammation of the tendons which pass through the shoulder or a tear in any of the four muscles which comprise the rotator cuff musculature which may have occurred after a fall on an outstretched arm.

Shoulder Instability

This occurs when the ball and socket joint of the shoulder becomes loose because there is a problem with the structures that are supposed to keep the ball tightly in its socket.  This is most commonly found after a shoulder becomes dislocated and the ligaments are overstretched, making it more prone to further dislocation.  80% of people under 35 years of age who suffer a dislocation will develop shoulder instability.

Whiplash Injuries

Commonly but not exclusively as the result of vehicular accidents, whiplash refers to the injury sustained when the neck is overextended and overflexed, causing sometimes mild, sometimes severe, neck and upper back pain.


Osteoarthritis is a condition which commonly affects older people; it limits the range of movement and decreases the looseness of the joints. The most commonly affected joints include the hips, shoulders and knees; the movement of the hands and toes may also be limited by the onset of osteoarthritis.

Wrist and Hand Injuries

Strains and sprains of the wrist or thumb after suffering a fall.


Frequently Asked Questions




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