Pain relief for cubital tunnel syndrome?

Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome but mention cubital tunnel syndrome and you will draw blank stares. Cubital tunnel syndrome also known as ulnar neuropathy, is a painful condition caused by the pressure of the ulnar nerve near the elbow. Cubital tunnel syndrome can be caused by a number of reasons such as constant pressure on the elbows. If you repeatedly place your elbow on a hard surface or you constantly keep your elbow crooked while you sleep or talk on the phone, symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may develop. Injury to the elbow or inflammation of the surrounding joints and muscles can also lead to the condition.  Symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome may include pain and numbness in the elbow area and the arm, tingling and numbness in the arm and fingers and muscle weakness and deformity in severe cases.

In some cases, cubital tunnel syndrome may also develop due to abnormal bone growths or tumors in the elbow area. In such cases, surgery may be required to treat the condition. If you suspect cubital tunnel syndrome, consult with your doctor or specialist to confirm the diagnosis. In addition to a physical examination, your doctor may recommend an electromyography test that measures the condition of muscles and nerve cells in a particular area. If nerve damage is indicated, the extent of the damage can also be quantified through such a test.

The treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome will depend on the extent of the damage to the ulnar nerve and the intensity of the symptoms. Mild cases of the condition respond well to the following treatments:

  • Not placing repeated pressure on the elbow by wearing a splint or an elbow pad.
  • Not keeping the elbow bent for long periods of time.
In more serious cases or when splinting does not help, some form of surgery may be required. Different types of surgery may be performed to shift the nerve from the elbow or to manipulate the elbow bone to allow the ulnar nerve to pass through easily. Other possible treatments include medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDS, and corticosteroid injections to reduce symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Some patients also respond well to alternative therapies such as physiotherapy and exercise to reduce repetitive stress on the elbow, hot and cold therapy to reduce pain and ultrasound treatments to decrease inflammation.

answered by K C

Numbness in the fingers is an early symptom of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, followed by pain.The pain and numbness can be due to wrong posture of your elbow while sleeping or repetitive movements of your arms and hands which involves bending of your elbows, which can cause the nerve to get pinched at a particular point.

  • Wear an elbow pad while sleeping to limit its repetitive movements even in sleep.
  • Avoid putting any extra pressure or strain on your elbows.
  • Limit activities with repetitive movements, which involve lot of bending of the elbow.
  • If the problem persists accompanied by severe pain then consult a specialist.

answered by S P

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