Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
The Ulnar Nerve has eight entrapment sites starting at the neck and then moving down the arm. Irritation of this nerve will give problems in the pinky finger and ring finger.
What causes ulnar nerve entrapment?
Three main nerves give sensation to the skin on the arm and hand as well as control muscle contraction in the forearm, wrist, hands and fingers. If one of the nerves gets irritated or entrapped anywhere between the spine and your fingers, your hand may fall asleep, and/or you may have weakness, tingling, burning, pain or tightness in the arm, hand, or fingers. There are eight entrapment sites of the ulnar nerve starting at the neck and then moving down into the arm. Irritation of the ulnar nerve will cause problems in the pinky finger and ring finger. Resting the elbow on a chair or out the car window frequently can lead to irritation or entrapment of the ulnar nerve.
What are symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment?
A symptom of ulnar nerve entrapment is if you are unable to keep your fingers together while someone tries to part the 4th and 5th fingers. Burning, pain, tightness, numbness or tingling will be felt in the pinky and ring finger, noticed especially with use of the elbow and with pressure on the inside of the elbow.
How do you treat ulnar nerve entrapment?
Tracing the pathway of the ulnar nerve will reveal the entrapment site which can be released with Active Release Techniques (ART) treatments and resolve the numbness and tingling. Depending on the severity of the entrapment, Dr. Creech or Dr. Nothold may use different combinations of ART to release the restrictions.