Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, also known as ulnar nerve entrapment, is a condition in which the ulnar nerve becomes compressed and/or irritated. The ulnar nerve travels from the neck to the pinky-finger-side of hand and is one of three main nerves in the arm. This nerve can become constricted at one or more places causing numbness or pain in the elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers. The cubital tunnel, through which the ulnar nerve travels, is in the elbow under the medial epicondyle, and it is a common site of nerve restriction.
Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Numbness, pain in elbow, hand, wrist, fingers
- “Falling asleep” feeling, numbness, or tingling in ring finger and little finger
- Weakened grip and less coordinated finger movements
Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Since the ulnar nerve must travel through such a narrow space at the elbow with so little soft tissue to protect it, it is most vulnerable to compression.
- Keeping the elbow bent for long periods or repeatedly bending the elbow, especially during sleep can aggravate symptoms
- Compression of the ulnar nerve can occur from prolonged pressure placed on the nerve, fluid buildup in the elbow, or irritation of the nerve from repeatedly sliding back and forth over the medial epicondyle.
Risk Factors of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- History of fracture or dislocation of the elbow
- Activities that require continual or repeated bending and/or flexion of the elbow
- Cysts or Swelling at or near the elbow
Complications with Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
If the nerve is compressed for a prolonged period of time, the muscles of the hand can irreversibly atrophy.
Prevention of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Take frequent breaks during activities that involve repeated bending or flexing of the elbow
- Avoid positions in which the inside of the elbow is compressed (for example sleeping on the inner elbow or driving with the arm resting on an open window).
- Avoid activities in which the elbow is bent for a prolonged period.
Treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
In order to relieve cubital tunnel syndrome, we address the problem holistically and naturally, without medication.
We use the following approaches to relieve cubital tunnel syndrome symptoms:
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with cubital tunnel syndrome. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.