Conditions of the Abdomen

Abdominal Strain – a mild injury to the abdominal muscles or tendons resulting from trauma, overuse or a sudden increase in use. The abdominals may be tender to the touch and / or hurt when coughing, sneezing or laughing.

Abdominal Weakness – when muscles are weakened by strain, pregnancy, repeated surgery or inactivity, causing tenderness and pain.


Conditions of the Ankle

Tendonitis – an inflammation or slight tearing of tendons, usually caused by stress or overuse of the tendons. Pain, swelling, inflammation and irritation are the most common symptoms. Achilles tendonitis is most common.

Achilles Rupture – complete tear, rupture or “pop” of the Achilles tendon, usually occurring from overuse or a sudden motion such as jumping, climbing stairs or sprinting. Immobilization and surgical repair may be necessary; rehabilitation can take several months.

Sprains – the stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the ankle, usually caused by the inward twisting of the foot. Sprains can range from mild to severe, depending on how badly the ligaments are torn. Complete ligament tears are severe sprains.

Strains – an inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to the bones and is usually the result of overuse. Pain or swelling typically occurs. If untreated, a strain can develop into tendonitis by the tendons pulling apart.

Plantar Fasciitis – inflammation of the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot (plantar fascia) and supports the longitudinal arch. Pain begins as a dull pain in the heel or arch and is usually greatest in the morning or after resting.

Contusion – occurs when there is a direct blow to the ankle, causing tenderness, limited range of motion, deep bruising and / or inflammation.


Conditions of the Back

Lumbar Disc Dysfunction – an injury to a disc in the lumbar region (L1– L5). This can result in pain, decreased range of motion, lumbar instability and loss of normal back function.

Lumbar Instability – described as excessive mobility of the lumbar spine due to ligament and / or muscle weakness. This results in pain and can also lead to possible disc dysfunction.

Lumbar Spine Sprain – occurs when the muscles or ligaments of the back are stretched or torn, resulting in pain and possible loss of function. This is a common and debilitating injury and can be mild, moderate or severe.

Lumbar Strain – an inflammation of the tendons that connect the muscles to the bones. Strains typically occur from repetitive or overuse and may cause tenderness, pain or mild swelling.

Sacroiliac Sprain / Strain – an injury to the sacroiliac joint (between the sacrum and the upper part of the hip bone) causing pain, injury and/or misalignment of the muscles and ligaments.


Conditions of the Elbow

Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) – an inflammation, or slight tearing, of tendons or muscles around the elbow joint. This can occur at the medial epicondyle, the lateral epicondyle or both.

Lateral Epicondylitis (Backhand Tennis Elbow) – an inflammation, irritation or slight tearing of the tendons or muscles on the outer (lateral) side of the elbow. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness or irritation on the outer, back side of the forearm.

Medial Epicondylitis (Forehand Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow) – an inflammation, irritation or slight tearing of the tendons or muscles on the inner side (medial) of the elbow. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness or irritation on the inner side of the forearm.

Dual Medial / Lateral Epicondylitis – an inflammation, irritation or light tearing of the tendons or muscles on both sides of the elbow. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, redness or irritation on both sides of the forearm.

Elbow Contusion – occurs when there is a direct blow to the elbow, causing tenderness, limited range of motion, deep bruising and / or inflammation.


Conditions of the Foot

Neuroma – a pinched nerve occurring at the ball of the foot often between the ends of two bones or between a ligament and the end of a bone. A dull or sharp pain in the ball of the foot is the most common symptom of a neuroma, which is caused by tight or high-heeled shoes or repeated blows to the ball of the foot.

Metatarsalgia – an acute or chronic pain in the ball of the foot where the ends of the metatarsal bones are located, resulting in pain in the ball of the foot. You may feel as if you are standing on a stone. Caused by standing or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time, wearing high-heeled shoes with thin soles, or any pressure on the ball of the foot.

Heel Pain / Heel Spurs – a bone outgrowth on the plantar aspect of the heel bone, resulting in a sharp pain on the bottom or inside edge of the heel. A dull ache may be present after standing on a hard surface for any length of time or after running.

Diabetic Foot – commonly due to nerve damage, which can lead to lessened or complete loss of feeling in the foot. This insensitivity can lead to minor injuries such as scrapes, blisters, calluses and pressure sores. Since poor circulation impairs the healing process, more serious complications can occur if left untreated.

Fat Pad Atrophy – occurs in the metatarsal area of the foot or in the heel when the fat pad that serves as a natural cushion for the foot thins out.

Shin Splints – an inflammatory condition of the front part of the shin that results from repeated stress and overuse. Pain is commonly felt along the front and the outer muscles of the shin. Overuse causes damage or injury to the tendon and adjacent tissues and muscles in the front of the lower leg. Running on hard surfaces or inclines, tight calf muscles and pronated ankles (ankles rolled in) can lead to this condition.

Plantar Fasciitis – caused by repetitive strain and is the most common cause of localized heel pain. It is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament structure that supports the longitudinal arch of the foot. It is a tough, fibrous band of connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. Common symptoms include a dull, intermittent pain in the heel or arch, progressing to a sharp, persistent pain. It can also be a sharp, piercing pain and/or inflammation through the heel and foot that most often occurs first thing in the morning and gradually disappears with walking.


Conditions of the Knee

Patellar and Quadriceps Tendonitis – also called Jumper’s Knee, this condition occurs as a result of overused or tight quadriceps (front thigh muscles). Stress and friction affect the patellar tendon which can become irritated and / or damaged. This is common among athletes who play on hard surfaces, such as basketball or tennis.

Chondromalacia Patella Syndrome – when the cartilage on the under surface of the patella breaks down as a result of abnormal patella tracking, resulting in pain that may radiate toward the back of the knee. Pain is greatest on the inner, lower part of the knee. Chondromalacia can lead to arthritis.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease – as the quadriceps contract, especially during growth in adolescents, the patellar tendon is pulled where it attaches to the shin bone (tibia). Pain at the top of the shin may be felt which may last for several weeks or even months.

Ligament Tears – complete or partial tears of the ACL, LCL, MCL or PCL ligaments (see diagram).

Knee Strain – a mild injury to tissue or structures, such as tendons in the knee.

Knee Sprain – a moderate injury to tissue or structures, such as ligaments in the knee.

Bursitis – an inflammation of the bursae (fluid-filled sacs that cushion thebones, tendons and ligaments) caused by an injury or overuse. These sacs can enlarge with extra fluid, resulting in joint pain, tenderness and swelling as they push against the inner tissues.

Degenerative Joint Disease – advanced arthritis that starts to break down the actual bones of the joint.

Dislocation (Patellar Subluxation) – occurs when the kneecap (patella) partly moves out of place as a result of the kneecap being pushed too hard, or the quadriceps, retinacula, or patellar tendon being pulled too hard.

Meniscal Injuries – the result of abnormal stresses caused during twisting injuries of the knee that result in strain / tears of the meniscal tissues.


Conditions of the Ribs

Intercostal Strain – usually caused by excessive exertion or twisting motions, such as the movements in baseball, tennis and golf. This mild injury strains the intercostal muscles, located between the ribs. Tenderness and possible swelling may be experienced, though breathing should not be painful.

Rib Contusion – the result of a direct blow to the ribs causing tenderness, inflammation and bruising. Breathing should not be painful.

Rib Fracture – a crack or break in a rib due to a direct blow or forceful compression of the rib cage. Symptoms include severe pain in the area and pain during deep breathing, sneezing, or coughing.

Sternum Fracture – a crack or break in the sternum (breast bone), resulting in pain and tenderness.


Conditions of the Thumb

DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis (also called DeQuervain’s Syndrome) – the inflammation of tissue on the inside of the wrist. The inflammation causes swelling of the tendon sheath (lining) and synovium (a fluid-filled sac that lubricates the tendons) which pinches the tendons and makes them painful and unable to slide easily. Symptoms include pain, tenderness and possibly a small knot on the thumb side of the wrist.

Basal Joint Arthritis – arthritis occurring at the Basal joint, often caused by repeated wear and tear on the joint. Arthritis is a disease that slowly destroys the cushioning cartilage surrounding the joint, permitting the bones to rub against one another, causing inflammation, nagging pain and stiffening. Pain is experienced during lifting, or activities such as turning a door handle or unscrewing a jar lid.

Skier’s Thumb – involves an injury to the ligament at the MCP joint. It is one of the most common injuries to affect skiers, usually the result of a fall or direct impact, and results in significant thumb pain and possible joint instability.

Gamekeeper’s Thumb – involves the hyperextension of the thumb at the MCP joint. This is a very common sports injury characterized by displaced and non-displaced tears of the attached ligament, usually the result of trying to break a backwards fall or jamming / stubbing the thumb.


Conditions of the Wrist

Arthritis - a disease that slowly destroys the cushioning cartilage surrounding a joint, causing inflammation, pain and stiffening as bones rub against one another. Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is advanced arthritis that begins to break down the bones of the joint.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – a painful condition caused by overuse or repetitive bending and flexing of the hand and wrist. This causes the tendons and the tendon sheaths (which protect the tendons) to become swollen. The swollen tendons place pressure on the median nerve, often resulting in numbness.

Strains – when tendons (which connect muscle to bone) become inflamed, often because of repetitive or overuse. If untreated, the tendons can tear away from the muscle, leading to tendonitis.

Tendonitis – a strained, inflamed or slight tear of the tendons from the muscle, commonly due to overuse. Symptoms include tenderness, nagging pain and mild swelling.

Sprains – when a sudden forceful twist or blow forces the wrist beyond its natural range of motion. This movement causes stretching and / or tearing of the ligaments around the wrist joint, resulting in pain, swelling and bruising. The degree of sprain can range from mild (slight stretching) to severe (complete tearing).

Fracture – the breaking of a bone due to excessive force. This can range from a simple crack in the bone to multiple breaks. The most common wrist fracture, the Colles’ fracture, usually occurs when the hand is used to break a fall.

After Cast Removal – often, after cast removal, additional wrist stabilization is necessary during the healing and physical therapy process, especially if the wrist and / or hand is severely weakened.