132017Dec

How is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Caused

The condition cubital tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy involves stretching or pressure of your ulnar nerve or perhaps what you’ve always been calling — your funny bone nerve. On the inside of your elbow, you may experience an aching pain. However, most symptoms you’ll experience will typically be in your hand like tingling or numbness in your small and ring fingers or/and weakness in your hand possibly causing you to seek hand treatment.

Your ulnar nerve is one of your three primary nerves inside your arm. It travels down in your hand from your neck and along the way, could constrict in a few places like at your wrist or beneath your collarbone. The inside part of your elbow is the most common area for nerve compression.

Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

There are several causes of cubital tunnel syndrome, including:

  • Leaning on your elbow repeatedly, particularly on a hard surface
  • Bending your elbow constantly, like when you’re sleeping and your hand is under your pillow crooked or while talking on the phone

In some cases, this condition may occur due to an intense physical activity, which can increase ulnar nerve pressure or if your elbow has abnormal bone growth. Another cause is when you move your elbow and your ulnar nerve doesn’t stay in place and is snapping over a bony bump back and forth. Snapping repeatedly aggravates your nerve. Also, if your nerve’s soft tissues get thicker or it has an extra muscle over it, these things can prevent it from properly working.

To relieve symptoms, there are certain things at home you can do such as:

  • Avoid putting pressure on your arm on the inside or leaning on your elbow. A good example would be driving while resting your arm on the opened window.
  • Avoiding activities where you need to continue bending your arm for a long time.
  • Keeping your elbow straight while sleeping at night. Put an elbow pad on and wear it backward or straighten out your elbow and wrap a towel around it.
  • Making sure you don’t keep your desk chair too low or use the armrest of the chair to rest your elbow while you’re using the computer.

If you have symptoms that last for several weeks or more or they interfere with your daily activities, be sure to schedule an appointment with us here at Florida Hand Center (in Fort Myers or Port Charlotte) where  our physicians are committed to giving you a cubital tunnel syndrome diagnosis and treatment all on the same day.