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You’ve probably experienced the pain, numbness and tingling that occurs when you hit your “funny bone.” Imagine if you constantly felt that sensation in your arm, hand or fingers. That’s what life is like for many people with a nerve entrapment disorder.
Symptoms of a nerve entrapment disorder can be debilitating. But with proper treatment, they are also manageable.
Nerves carry signals from your brain. These signals help you move your muscles, and feel temperature and texture.
Three main nerves run down your arm and hand:
If a nerve is stretched or compressed by bone, muscle or other tissue, you may experience chronic pain and other symptoms. This is called a nerve entrapment disorder, or nerve compression syndrome.
Mercy’s orthopedic specialists understand that nerve entrapment disorders are more than a nuisance. If left untreated, symptoms may become intolerable. We have experience treating the three main types of hand nerve entrapment:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched median nerve. You may have pain, numbness and tingling in your thumb and first three fingers. Pain may travel up your arm, and you may have hand weakness.
Cubital tunnel syndrome refers to a compressed ulnar nerve. It causes a “pins and needles” feeling in your ring finger and little finger, especially when you bend your elbow. Your hand grip may weaken and you may lose finger coordination.
Radial tunnel syndrome is caused by a compressed radial nerve. You may feel an aching pain along the top of your forearm, especially when you straighten your wrist or fingers. You may also have arm and wrist weakness.
Even if your symptoms are mild or fleeting, you should talk to your doctor.
There is a wide range of treatments available:
If a nerve entrapment disorder makes it hard for you to take care of yourself, talk to your Mercy physician. Together we'll help you get rid of your symptoms - and regain your quality of life.
At Mercy, we offer comprehensive testing services to diagnose conditions and injuries, including: