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David Phillips


What is ulnar nerve entrapment?

As we complete our tour of the upper extremity, we look at the ulnar nerve as the last of 3 major nerves that innervate the upper extremity that can cause arm pain, elbow pain, and wrist pain. The ulnar nerve has some reminiscent elements of both of the nerves previously discussed, particularly as it concerns the wrist and hand. Let us examine the specific pains and symptoms associated with ulnar nerve entrapment:

  • Pain into the pinky, ring finger, and the pinky side of the wrist.
  • Local or shooting wrist pain when the hand moves toward the pinky side of the wrist.
  • Popping and clicking in the wrist, loss of hand strength, and loss of wrist and elbow range of motion

Where might the problem occur?

When it concerns ulnar nerve issues, there are 2 primary areas that the ulnar nerve may become entrapped:

– At the elbow (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome). If you want to find the nerve, find the boney part of the elbow and just slide just to the inside. This is often where we hit our ‘funny bone’. The funny bone is the ulnar nerve getting hit.

– At the wrist, in a location referred to as the Tunnel of Guyon. Entrapment can usually be a result of something structural, such as calcification and inflammation.

How do you treat the ulnar nerve?

As we have looked at before, Ulnar Nerve flossing is a great approach for treating the ulnar nerve and offering relief over a period of committed time. Stay tuned for strategies to floss the nerve, self-myofascial release, and soft tissue therapy for pain relief.