Do you experience arm or wrist pain? Do you have numbness and tingling in the shoulder, elbow, wrist or fingers? Are you having any weakness in these areas? You might be suffering from ulnar nerve entrapment!
The ulnar nerve starts in the neck and travels down the arm into the hand. This nerve can get “pinched” at several areas: the neck, your shoulder, elbow and even your wrist. Many times people are misdiagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome when they actually have ulnar nerve entrapment. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs with compression of the median nerve specifically at the wrist. It’s important a doctor doesn’t just look at the site of pain, numbness and tingling or weakness because the compression of the nerve can occur at any of the other locations.
The medical approach to treating ulnar nerve entrapment is with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections. These just temporarily cover up the symptom. It is similar to if you had a tooth ache and the dentist just injected it with Novocaine. You might not feel the pain temporarily but you know if the dentist doesn’t fix the tooth, the pain will eventually come back. The actually cavity or underlying cause would get worse without treating the cause. Wouldn’t it make sense to actually find what is causing the ulnar nerve compression and correct it?
Other times a more conservative approach including exercise or braces is prescribed. The exercises might stabilize and strengthen the area, but it doesn’t actually remove the pressure from the ulnar nerve. The braces might take pressure off the nerve but with relying on the brace you can experience muscle atrophy.
There is a better conservative, non-drug approach that actually addresses the cause of the ulnar nerve entrapment!
The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine recently published a case study: Chiropractic management of patient with ulnar nerve compression symptoms
A 41 year old woman was experiencing hand weakness along with numbness down the medial aspect of her forearm and medial 3 fingers. The patient woke up 3 weeks earlier with no known trauma. She thought “she slept wrong.” A chiropractor performed an orthopedic evaluation to differentially diagnose the cause of her symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment. The chiropractor started a treatment protocol using chiropractic adjustments, myofascial therapy and elastic therapeutic taping. A home exercise program and ergonomic work station improvements were prescribed.
The patient experienced immediate relief of her numbness and weakness after the first treatment. She had total resolution of her symptoms after just 11 visits and returned to work without any restrictions.
By doing a thorough examination, chiropractors find the cause of the ulnar nerve entrapment. The chiropractic adjustment realigns the joint to remove pressure from the nerve. Then exercises are used to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments to help maintain the alignment for stabilization. It’s this order of treatment using the adjustment first then exercise second that is key for the success of correcting the condition. This way the joint is aligned, removes pressure from the nerve, optimizes joint range of motion to then get the full effect of the exercise therapy.
Freehold chiropractor, Dr. Russell Brokstein takes this complete approach to helping patients that suffer with ulnar nerve entrapment and other conditions. If you would like a natural approach to your health so you can live an active and healthy lifestyle, contact Dr. Brokstein at Hometown Family Wellness Center in Freehold, NJ. To find out more: click here