Nerve damage in the elbow is usually caused by cubital tunnel syndrome. This article will discuss how cubital tunnel syndrome is diagnosed and how a physical therapist can help.
If you need a physical therapist to help treat nerve damage in your elbow, contact our orthopedic experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. We have physicians on call for emergency consultation. Contact our office in Marietta or Atlanta, Georgia today for quality rehabilitation treatments you can trust!
Ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow is called cubital tunnel syndrome. Your ulnar nerve runs from your neck and down your arm until the pinky and ring fingers.
At your elbow, the ulnar nerve passes through a tunnel made of muscles, ligaments, and bone called the cubital tunnel. Pressure on the cubital tunnel can cause ulnar nerve compression.
Ulnar nerve entrapment occurs when there is pressure on the cubital tunnel. Every time you bend your elbow, your ulnar nerve will be stretched as it slides behind the tiny bump on your funny bone, called the medial epicondyle.
Simply bending your elbow can apply 20 times more pressure on the ulnar nerve. Therefore, repetitive pulling, lifting, or reaching can all put pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Other causes of ulnar nerve irritation include the following:
There are several symptoms related to cubital tunnel syndrome. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have cubital tunnel syndrome:
These symptoms are not limited to cubital tunnel syndrome and may indicate other medical conditions, such as medial epicondylitis, also known as golfer’s elbow. You should seek the help of a professional healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
You will usually begin the diagnosis process by discussing your medical history and allowing the doctor to perform a physical exam. Further diagnostic tests may include the following:
In most cases, stopping the activity that is causing the problem will be enough to reduce the symptoms. You could also try the following to treat cubital tunnel syndrome:
A physical therapist can help you with nerve gliding exercises. Nerve gliding, also known as nerve flossing or neural gliding, is an exercise technique that physical therapists prescribe to improve the way your nerves move and reduce pain.
If these treatments do not work, or you have more severe symptoms, you may need to consider the following treatments:
There are a few things that you can do to prevent cubital tunnel syndrome. The following list states some things that you can try:
If you need a physical therapist to help treat nerve damage in your elbow, contact our orthopedic experts at Georgia Hand, Shoulder & Elbow. We have 2 convenient locations in Georgia to serve you. Schedule your appointment in Atlanta or Marietta today to get the results you’re looking for!
Randall Alexander, MD
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