Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
The ulnar nerve entrapment is also known as cubital tunnel syndrome. The ulnar nerve runs from the neck all the way down to the hand. It can become entrapped in different places, but the most common is entrapment within the elbow.
Ulnar Nerve Causes:
The ulnar nerve passes through a narrow space within the elbow with very little protection. Little protection can easily irritate the nerve. Sleeping on a bent elbow or constantly bending at the elbow can cause irritation of the nerve followed by pain.
Ulnar Nerve Symptoms:
- Numbness and tingling in the ring and pinky finger
- Arm feels like its “falling asleep”
- Weak grip
- Chronic pain can cause muscle wasting
Ulnar Nerve Treatment:
- Straight elbow while sleeping
- Correct posture when using elbow
- Avoid repetitive motion in the elbow
- Avoid applying pressure to the elbow
Non surgical treatments would be using a brace or splint, nerve gliding exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical Therapy involving advanced soft tissue release (ASTR) is a holistic approach that may be used to help ease the pain. If theses do not help with the pain, surgery might be necessary.