Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Little Finger Numb Sioux City
Understanding Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is an ulnar nerve compression behind the elbow. This nerve travels through the cubital tunnel between the humerus and ulna. You may have felt the effects of compressing this nerve when bumping your elbow or “funny bone.” The pain or tingling radiates to the little finger.
Common Causes of Ulnar Nerve Compression
Work activities or hobbies that involve repeated flexing or bending of the elbow increase the likelihood of developing the condition. It is more likely to occur in individuals with arthritis, cysts, or swelling in the elbow. It can also occur because of trauma or falls that produce fractures or elbow dislocations. It can also occur in someone who rests his or her elbow on a table or desk for long periods of time, such as with computer work or driving. Over time, the tissue around the elbow becomes irritated and swells, resulting in compression of the ulnar nerve.
Signs and Symptoms of Ulnar Nerve Compression
- Sharp pain behind the elbow
- Elbow swelling
- Weakening of grip strength and little finger coordination
- Difficulty with fine finger and hand motions
- Clumsiness of hands or fingers
- Tingling, burning, or numbness of ring and little finger
Treatments for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Early diagnosis and treatment are important in order to reduce the recovery time. The longer a nerve is compressed, the more damage can occur. Surgical treatments are often provided for patients with severe cases. The goal of this procedure is to relieve the pressure on the ulnar nerve. Severe nerve compression can require months, or even up to a year, to heal. Treatments include:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines. Over-the-counter medicines or prescribed ones such as ibuprofen are often recommended to reduce pain and swelling.
- Steroid injections from your physician.
- Bracing or splinting. The use of support or custom pads is necessary to immobilize the elbow and help it to heal by reducing excessive strain.
- Ice and rest.
Treatments and therapies are designed to reduce ulnar nerve compression around the elbow. Active treatments in the office include chiropractic and physical therapy treatments to decrease pain and inflammation. Active treatments include electricity, heat, ice, stretching, exercise, ultrasound, cold laser, the Graston Technique, ART, ASTYM, massage therapy, and manual therapy.
Treatment goals are to decrease the muscle spasms in the forearm and tricep. Severe and chronic injuries respond to Graston and massage therapy treatments. Combining these treatments with traditional therapies speeds up the healing and recovery process. Lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome are often confused with cubital tunnel syndrome. This often occurs frequently with previous elbow tendonitis or trauma.
Our office strives to provide quality treatment for your elbow pain and cubital tunnel syndrome. We combine the best office treatments to effectively and efficiently treat your cubital tunnel syndrome. More information on treatment can be found on our elbow treatment page.