The upper extremity is the functional bond between our bodies and our  environment – it is the limb that makes us human. Our upper extremity; the hand/thumb complex, the wristforearm,  elbow,  upper arm and shoulder, allows us to perform precise fine motor movements such as object manipulation, lifting, pulling, pushing, and adopting a weight bearing position. Obviously this includes everyone’s favorite exercises – the plank or a push up!.  They allows us to drink our coffee or tea in the morning, type on our computers, drive our vehicles and put our groceries away at the end of the day. We often take for granted our mobility, strength and overall function of our upper extremities, until we experience pain or injury.

July’s Physiopedia Topic of The Month is a reminder as to how much we cherish our upper limbs and how important it is to keep them strong and healthy.

Our physiotherapist volunteers are hard at work updating pages on anatomy (carpal bones, ulna, or radial nerve– for example), pathologies (Trigger finger,lateral epicondylitis, rotator cuff tendinopathy) and treatment approaches (rehabilitation for the shoulderrehabilitation in sport, elbow mobilizations), to name a few.

This is also a good time to brush up on your knowledge of the upper extremity, by taking some of the great courses offered on Physiopedia Plus for example; Clinical Presentations of Shoulder Pain, Tennis Elbow Assessment or even Understanding Pain.

Take some time this month to appreciate your upper limbs and take part in this important topic of the month. We are always looking for ideas for new pages, so please feel free to get in contact with us. If you are a subject matter expert (SME) in your field we would also like to hear from you! Help us continue to grow Physiopedia as a resource, and become a volunteer (it looks great on your resume!).

Reflection question:  What part of the upper extremity are you most comfortable treating? Which part do you feel less comfortable treating? How could you improve your knowledge and your skills in this area?