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Treatment of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Cubital tunnel syndrome is compression or irritation of the ulnar nerve in the tunnel on the inside of the elbow, which can cause pain and tenderness at your elbow, as well as tingling in your little finger and ring finger. It usually occurs without a known cause, yet the tunnel can be narrowed by arthritis of the elbow or an old injury.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

To learn more about the condition, check out this short and comprehensive article on Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

Finding the Best Elbow Splint 

The first step towards recovery includes staying away from all activities that might trigger the symptoms or that require you to keep your arm bent for longer periods of time. This can most easily be done by wearing a brace or a splint that will help you immobilise the elbow joint and speed up the recovery.

How Exactly Does an Elbow Splint Work?

The cubital tunnel syndrome is caused by the ulnar nerve getting trapped and, eventually, irritated, so the arm splint for cubital tunnel syndrome holds the elbow at a 122° angle, preventing it from catching within the joint.

Letting the nerve rest gives the inflammation a chance to subside, helping to reduce the pain and numbness, while holding the arm at a bent position is preferable to keeping it straight, as that can cause tissues of the arm to shorten.

Cubital Tunnel Splint
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Splint

Nerve Gliding Exercises for Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

To make the splint even more effective, combine it with nerve gliding exercises for the arm and hand that can help decrease the pain. Inflammation or adhesions along the ulnar nerve can cause the nerve to have limited mobility, essentially getting stuck in one place, so the purpose of these exercises is to help stretch the ulnar nerve and encourage movement through the cubital tunnel.

Ulnar nerve gliding exercises should be performed three times a day to achieve the best results possible. These exercises are fairly simple to perform and do not require a lot of time. Put your arms out the sides with your wrists pulled back, than bend the elbows and bring the palms back to your ears, with the fingers pointing to your shoulders. Repeat ten times.

When Surgery Remains the Only Option

Surgery is always the last resort and your doctor may recommend it only if:

  • The non-surgical methods (exercising and splinting) have not improved your condition
  • The ulnar nerve is severely compressed
  • The nerve compression has caused muscle weakness or damage

There are several surgical procedures that can relieve the pressure on the ulnar nerve, including cubital tunnel release, ulnar nerve anterior transposition and medial epicondylectomy. Normally, your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss all the options with you and recommend the best one.

Finding a high-quality elbow support brace is your best chance to avoid surgery and recover as quickly as possible. Here at Health and Care, we offer one of the best Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Splints on the market, with a proven track record of helping users achieve full recovery.

Have any questions, or something to add? Let us know in the comments section below, or get in touch via Facebook and Twitter!