Are you experiencing pain or increased pressure in your little finger that travels along the half of your ring finger? Perhaps, unless proven otherwise, you may have a Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.
Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Although the exact cause of this syndrome is not completely known, research and clinical evidence attributes its cause to the compression of the ulnar nerve – the nerve that makes the little finger and half of the ring finger do actions such as picking up objects. Moreover, the ulnar nerve controls the gripping movement of the forearm. Here, the ulnar nerve becomes compressed as it goes through a narrow space that lacks tissue, which serves to cushion the passing nerve.
In addition, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused by fluid accumulation in the elbow which causes swelling and eventually, nerve compression. Prolonged leaning on the elbow may also cause the syndrome. And sleeping with your elbow bent the way you do when you get power naps at work may contribute to the development of this syndrome.
Treatment for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Fortunately, there are available home remedies and surgical treatment to help alleviate the syndrome. However, before resorting into home remedies and have your self scheduled for an immediate surgery, it is advised to have your condition checked by a doctor, particularly an Orthopedic doctor in order to assess the degree of severity of your condition.
An effective way to lessen the pain brought by this condition is to put down your cell phone and restrain yourself from engaging in activities requiring you to bend your arm for a long period of time. Also, avoid resting your elbow on your chair’s armrest at the moment. When sleeping, maintain your elbow in a straight position and wear an elbow pad backwards. You may also take some NSAIDs for pain and swelling relief.
Medical (Non-Surgical) Management
In the event that the pain and swelling persists upon your visit to the doctor, you may be injected with a steroid in the site of the nerve compression in order to reduce the swelling of the nerve causing pain. You may be also required to wear a brace or splint at night so as to keep your elbow straight. Also, you will be ordered to do some gliding exercises to aid your ulnar nerve to successfully pass through the cubital tunnel.
If the conservative management failed to afford relief of pain and swelling, the patient will be recommended to undergo surgery. The goal of the surgery is to eliminate the pressure off the ulnar nerve.