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If it hurts to straighten your arm, there are a number of possible conditions that could be causing your pain. Many of the conditions that lead to arm pain are known as musculoskeletal conditions. Physical therapy may be a solution to help provide relief for a variety of different musculoskeletal problems. 

Does it hurt to straighten your arm? Learn about some possible conditions that may be causing your arm pain, and discover how a physical therapist may help.

Possible reasons why it hurts to straighten your arm

There are a few common conditions that contribute to arm pain:

Tennis elbow — This is a commonly occurring condition that is caused by stress and overuse of the elbow. If you have tennis elbow, it usually hurts when straightening the arm. The pain is located on the lateral, or the outside, of the elbow.  

Golfer’s elbow — This condition is similar to tennis elbow and is also caused by stress and overuse. The difference is that if you have golfer’s elbow, you’ll experience pain on the inside of your elbow instead. 

Forearm splints — If the connective tissue in your arms becomes sprained or strained, you have splints. This can be extremely tender and even painful. If your arms feel stiff, it may be another sign that you have forearm splints. 

Hyperextended elbow — If your elbow joint becomes bent beyond the normal range of motion, it can tear the connective tissue. This is known as a hyperextension. This condition is felt immediately when it occurs. It can usually happen during sports or other physical activities. 

How a physical therapist can help if it hurts to straighten your arm 

If you have any of these conditions, or other musculoskeletal problems, then physical therapy can help. A therapeutic intervention may include: 

Exercise — Depending on the cause of your arm pain, a physical therapist will show you how to perform proper exercises to strengthen your muscles, which can reduce the stress on your elbow joint. This can reduce the pain you feel when extending your arm.

Stretching — If your arm is feeling stiff, it’s important to stretch it. Your physical therapist may show you the proper stretches to perform daily. By stretching every day, you can improve your arm flexibility and range of motion, which may help reduce your arm pain.

Graston Technique® — The Graston Technique is an effective form of manual intervention. It involves using specialized tools to stimulate the soft tissue, which can reduce your inflammation. It can also stimulate blood flow to the affected arm. This may help reduce the pain and discomfort you feel in your arm.

Arrow Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation is ready to help manage your arm pain

If you’re experiencing arm pain, physical therapy is an effective way to help promote a faster recovery. Our team of experts at Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation is ready to help reduce your arm pain with proven techniques. Our physical therapists can build you a personalized treatment plan with the right arm exercises to help you recover. 

Contact our team today for more information about physical therapy for arm conditions or to schedule an initial appointment.