A pinched elbow nerve is typically brought about by cubital tunnel syndrome. It is important to note that the ulnar nerve can be pinched or entrapped due to direct trauma, overuse activities and anatomical deviations.
The treatment options are mainly based on the severity of the condition. Due to the risks of severe or chronic pressure on the nerve, it can result to lasting damage and other deficits.
Commonly used measures to manage a pinched elbow nerve
One of the simplest options for entrapment of the ulnar nerve is to avoid the activity responsible for pressure on the nerve. This is generally due to repetitive bending and straightening.
Individuals who sleep with the elbows continuously bent might complain of symptoms linked with this form of nerve entrapment. Avoiding this position can lessen the symptoms and the pressure.
Avoidance or alteration of activities particularly repetitive bending and straightening as well as squeezing can lessen or prevent worsening of the symptoms linked to a pinched elbow nerve.
Since most of the origins of ulnar nerve entrapment include activities that exacerbate and worsen the nerve, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might be beneficial.
Reducing the inflammation in the nerve and adjacent tissues will lessen the swelling as well as the pressure on the nerve.
In cases where nerve compression is severe or chronic, injectable steroids might provide significant relief. The steroid is directly injected into the site of the pinched elbow nerve.
Once the compression and symptoms are severe where the conservative measures are not effective, surgical release and even relocation of the nerve is the best option.
The procedure involves releasing the bands of supportive tissues that secure the nerve in its site inside the groove of the distal upper arm bone. Generally, a relocation procedure is also performed where the nerve is taken out from the bony indentation and transferred into the nearby soft tissue to lessen the pulling or compression on the nerve.