Ireland Army Community Hospital
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CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
What is it?
Cubital tunnel syndrome is a problem that occurs when you injure or pinch your ulnar nerve around the area of the elbow known as the cubital tunnel. This often feels similar to hitting your funny bone.
Signs and Symptoms of this Condition
  • Numbness or tingling in the ring and little finger (which may increase when the elbow is bent for long periods of time)
  • Decreased strength in the hand
  • Sharp pain when touching the elbow
  • Inability to straighten fingers
  • Pain in the ring and little finger
Causes
  • Engaging in activities where your elbow is frequently bent such as:
    • Pulling levers, reaching, or lifting
    • Resting elbows on a desk while working
    • Sleeping with arms bent
    • Holding the phone to the ear for long periods of time
  • Injury to the elbow or elbow fracture
Prevention / What You Can Do At Home
  • Use telephone headsets if you are frequently on the phone at work or home
  • Do not rest your elbows on your desk
  • Do not curl your arms in when you sleep
  • Take frequent breaks from activities that cause pain
  • Complete Ulnar Nerve Gliding Exercises
Prognosis
Prognosis depends on the severity of the compression of the nerve and how well you respond to conservative treatment. Surgery may be necessary in some cases.
Treatment
Conservative treatment includes: resting the area to decrease inflammation, taking medication to reduce swelling, using elbow pads, and using an elbow splint at night to keep your arm straight.
Disclaimer
The information on this website is meant for patient education and to provide home treatment options for some common muscular and skeletal injuries. It is not intended to replace your health care provider. Many are actually intended for use by your health care provider through referral to the website for appropriate self-care interventions. If your symptoms get worse; are not improving in two weeks despite treatment; or new unexplained symptoms develop, you should contact or follow-up with your health care provide
Ireland Army Community Hospital