If you have had a tingling sensation or pain in your inner forearm or in your fingers and you don’t suffer from neck or nerve pain or Golfers elbow, you maybe affected by a condition known as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. In this blog, we will discuss this condition in more details, its common symptoms, why they occur and how to differentiate it from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
We have a set of nerves exiting the spine between every two vertebras, all the way from the neck to the tailbone. One of these is the Ulnar nerve, that travels from your neck all the way to the elbow and forearm, going into your hand and fingers, namely the little and ring finger. Whenever there is any irritation or compression of the nerve in and around your elbow it can lead to pain or tingling in the little and ring finger and part of the hand and forearm that lies in line with these two fingers. This is known as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome or Ulnar Nerve Entrapment. If it is present for a long period of time you may notice a weakness in your grip strength on the affected side as compared to the other unaffected hand.
Sometimes people can confuse this condition with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A good way to differentiate the two conditions is that carpal tunnel syndrome will affect the rest of the fingers and thumb on the inner aspect of the palm and not the little and ring finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused due to compression or irritation of the Median nerve in your wrist. You can read more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome HERE.
Another point of confusion can be the variable symptoms seen in Cubital tunnel syndrome. Like all other nerve pains, the kind of sensation felt (pain or tingling or tingling numbness or burning or discomfort or pressure sensation) depends on the nerve fibre that is being irritated or compressed within the nerve. Watch this video to learn more about nerve pains and why do the symptoms of nerve pains vary widely:
Usually these symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can increase when you repeatedly bend the elbow, such as prolonged hours of driving without a break, repeated use of phone with elbow bent, constant typing, or certain racquet sports, swelling in the elbow area due to fractures or dislocations, etc. This causes the Ulnar nerve to stretch over the elbow, thus causing more stress on the nerve. Some other medical conditions such as arthritis can also cause this condition.
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