Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or is a condition that involves pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve (also known as the “funny bone” nerve), which can cause numbness or tingling in the ring and small fingers, pain in the forearm, and/or weakness in the hand. Sometimes, cubital tunnel syndrome results from abnormal bone growth in the elbow or from intense physical activity that increases pressure on the ulnar nerve.
First is to avoid movements or actions that cause the symptoms. Wrap a towel loosely around the elbow or wearing a splint at night to keep the elbow from bending can help. Avoid leaning on your right elbow can also help. Activities such as leaning on your armrest at work, or resting your elbow on the window during a long drive. This condition can also be due to prolonged bending of the elbow beyond 90° whenever you sleep, hold the phone or hold a tool. Another thing you must do is correct your head, neck and upper back posture as this can also contribute to compression of the ulnar nerve in the neck area. For acute condition or symptom you may use cold compress (if less than 3 days) or warm compress (if more than 3 days) but you must check your skin every 3-5 minutes to avoid any burn due to the lack of sensation. You may also start gently moving your elbow joints, wrist and finger joints just to avoid those joints from getting stiff. I would also suggest nerve gliding exercises specifically targeting the ulnar nerve, as this can help you loosen up adhesion formation in the course of the nerve. However, you must note that these exercises should not worsen the condition. Here are some of the exercises:
1. Elbow Flexion and Wrist Extension
Sit tall on a chair and reach the affected arm out to the side, level with your shoulder, while your hand is facing the floor.Now turn your fingers toward the ceiling, then bend the arm and bring it toward the shoulder. Slowly repeat 5 times.
2. Arm Flexion in Front of the Body
Sit tall on a chair and reach the affected arm straight out in front of you with the elbow straight and level with the shoulders. With your palm facing the ceiling, bend the wrist down to point your fingers toward the floor. Now bend the elbow and bring your wrist toward the face. Slowly repeat 5 times to 10 times.
3. The Head Tilt
Sit tall on a chair and reach the affected arm out to the side with the elbow straight and level with the shoulder. Make sure your hand is facing the ceiling. Tilt your head away from your hand until you feel a pleasant stretch. Return to the starting position and slowly repeat 5 times.
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