Why ulnar nerve pinched, what causes it
Most often, the ulnar nerve is damaged and pinched when bones, tendons, muscles or tumors are squeezed in the area of the elbow. In this area, it is not under the muscles, but literally under the skin, in a vulnerable tendon-bone channel. Therefore, it is necessary to press the nerve fibers there, as soon as the problems begin. Also, the ulnar nerve is pinched around the wrist joint in the equally vulnerable Guyon canal.
Categories of people who most often have to deal with this disease:
- Those who constantly have to lean on their elbows. This is primarily wheelchair users, machine workers and office workers. In this case, the disease progresses slowly.
- A crush can appear immediately after serious injuries in the lower part of the shoulder bones, as well as in the elbow or hand (fractures, severe dislocations, sprains and painful bruises).
- A nerve can pinch after a fracture of the elbow has healed, but the bone in its place has been deformed.
- Also, pathology occurs in individuals who have inflamed muscles of the forearm or hand.
- Chondromatosis, arthrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are another frequent cause of the problem.
- Tenosynovit (inflammation of the synovial membrane) leads to the same unpleasant result. The tendons thicken and begin to pinch the elbow fiber.
- Poorly made injections are also to blame for pinching the ulnar nerve.
- This also happens when the cervical vertebral system affects a hernia.
- Pinched nerve and neoplasms.
Diabetes, severe hypothermia, high physical exertion, and psychological stress also cause the problem.
Pinching the ulnar nerve has the following main symptoms:
- Unbearable pain of a whining or shooting type in the elbow. These pains reach to the little finger, but do not last very long. The pain becomes stronger if the elbow is bent or moved with the little finger or ring finger. If the pain does not go away for a long time, then this is a sign of neuropathy.
- Burning, tingling, or numbness of the fingers (primarily the back of the hand, little finger, and ring finger). Such discomfort can appear in any place where the ulnar nerve is located.
- Weakened or completely lost sensitivity and problems with motor skills. Such symptoms appear in the area of 2 joints – wrist and elbow: bending them (as well as straightening) becomes extremely problematic, and sometimes even impossible. The same is observed in the skin surface of the little finger, as well as on the ring finger. The little finger may even completely lose its sensitivity, will stop bending.
- Gradually developing deformities of the carpal bones and atrophic processes of muscle tissue, which is located near the ulnar nerve. The palm “loses weight”, and the gaps in the phalanges of the fingers begin to fall. The circumflex muscles, as well as those between the thumb and index finger, are reduced particularly strongly.
- Inadequate supply (trophic) muscles with nutrients. As a result, the skin in the wrist and forearm areas becomes unhealthy bluish pale shade, it becomes cold to the touch. If there are problems with perspiration, perspiration becomes more difficult to leave the body through the skin pores.
In particularly difficult situations, the thumb paralyzes. In parallel with this, the brush is deformed (especially strongly in the region of the interosseous muscles). The little finger and ring fingers become “claw-shaped”, begin to resemble the bent claws of a feathered predator. Their phalanges become almost impossible to manage.
Read also … What you need to know when a nerve is pinched in your hand: treatments for neuropathy
In addition, the restrained elbow causes neuralgia and optic neuritis. Neuralgia is characterized by hypersensitivity and shooting pains that can occur for no apparent reason, even when the arm is completely relaxed, the person lying down rests on the bed. For neuritis, low sensitivity is more typical, as well as unpleasant, agonizing feelings of a whining character, which become stronger when the arm moves or is not very tense. With strong voltages, pain can become almost unbearable.
To pinch the diagnosis, the doctor prescribes:
- Electromyography (to find out if there are any problems with conducting a nerve impulse in the affected area).
- Ultrasound (to see if there are major changes in the nerve trunk).
- MRI (to determine if the bone defects pinched the nerve);
- Biopsy (if there are obvious signs that a person has a neoplasm).
Also, to check whether all is well with motor skills and sensitivity in the affected hand, the doctor asks his patient to:
- he pressed his palm to the table and bent the phalanxes on his little finger;
- held a sheet of paper between the index and thumb of his hand;
- tightly clenched his fist.
The doctor presses on the area where the ulnar nerve goes. If it is pinched, then the numbness and pain will usually become stronger.
Pinching eliminate the following medications:
- anti-inflammatory, decongestants and painkillers (Diclofenac, Nimesulide, Eufillin, and Normoven);
- drugs that remove vascular spasm and facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses (Neuromidin, Pentoxifylline);
- vitamins (group B, Neurobex), as well as antioxidants;
- Corticosteroids and glucocorticoids (Kenalog, Diprospan). They need to be applied only in extreme cases.
In addition, to eliminate pinching, use:
- current and heat stimulation;
- laser treatment;
To help the treatment, you should:
- sleep on a bed with a flat solid surface;
- remove spicy and smoked dishes, alcohol and pickles from the diet;
- undergo a course of therapeutic massage.
When nerve problems are exacerbated, massage is best not to do.
Also therapeutic exercises will help get rid of pinching. It includes a range of flexion-extension exercises, as well as relaxation and stretching.
If a scar has formed in the area of the pinched nerve, and the hand and forearm hurt badly, an operation cannot be done. With its help, the scar is excised and removed. Then about a week the hand should not move, so it is fixed by the tire.
How to get rid of the problem with the ulnar nerve folk methods
You can eliminate the problem at home. To do this, use the following effective folk methods:
- Treat the pinched nerve with dry heat. Put the salt in the pan, heat it. Then send in a bag and put it on the affected place. In no case it is impossible to treat tumors with heat, otherwise their growth may accelerate..
- Put on a sore spot cabbage leaf.
- Take 10 bay leaves and rub them. Fill with one glass of strong vodka and keep 3-4 days in a place where there is no access to sunshine. Then rubbed into the affected area.
To prevent the nerve from becoming trapped when a person rests on elbows, you should put soft rollers under them. Also, every few hours you need to make a small pause in the work (for 5-10 minutes).
A pinched ulnar nerve is not a pleasant problem. You should go to the doctor as soon as the first signs of pathology appeared. Only he can determine the exact cause of its occurrence and prescribe the correct treatment.