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Many people are familiar with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, where pressure on the carpal tunnel on the underside of the wrist causes pain, tingling, or numbness in the thumb, the two fingers next to it, and part of the palm.
There is also a similar condition that can take place on the other side of the wrist and fingers, called Ulnar Neuropathy. This is caused by an impingement to the ulnar nerve. This nerve runs from your shoulder, all the way down to your little finger. It helps to manage muscles that allow you to make fine movements with your fingers and hand. It also controls some of the muscles in your forearm.
Unlike many other nerves, the ulnar nerve is not protected by muscle or bone throughout its course. As nerves travel throughout your body, they sometimes pass through tight spaces where they are more likely to be compressed or damaged.
The term Ulnar Neuropathy simply means that something is wrong with the ulnar nerve. It can be caused by two different conditions, Cubital Tunnel Syndromeand Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome.
Ever wonder what happens when you hit your “funny bone”? Your ulnar nerve is being compressed at the elbow!
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow. This can be aggravated by repeated flexion of the elbow (such as repeatedly lifting things). It can also be compressed during sleep, when sleeping in positions that flex the elbow towards the body (such as a tight fetal position). A brace that keeps the elbow in a neutral position can help the nerve reduce in tension and pressure overnight.
Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome is caused by compression of the ulnar nerve at the wrist, similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but in a different location. It can be caused by repetitive harsh movements, such as hammering or constant pressure on the wrist, such as long periods of time leaning onto bicycle handlebars. A wrist brace can help alleviate the pressure and decompress the nerve.
If you’re affected by any of these conditions, don’t forget to consult your physiotherapist or healthcare practitioner for more information on how to alleviate the pain and numbness. Together with physical therapy, a brace and the right exercises may be your best bet to overcoming Ulnar Neuropathy.
Call us at 1-888-300-0063, or email us for more information on these, and any other braces.