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Ulnar (elbow) nerve pain/numbness

Posted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:37 am
by Imagine
Has anyone suffered (or does anyone suffer) ulnar nerve pain? This would be pain and/or numbness radiating from the funny bone" all the way up to the hand, concentrated in the ring and pinky fingers. It is as if all feeling has disappeared from half of one's hand, with nearly unbearable pain from the wrist up to the elbow.

I get this occasionally, and, after some reflection, usually realize I've brought it on myself. My worst episode was about a decade ago, after a long phone conversation, throughout which I absentmindedly rested my elbows on a kitchen counter. The next morning, I awoke to find painful tingling in my right elbow and then complete numbness traveling through the aforementioned fingers. I thought I had slept on my arm, or that the sensation was a result of carpal tunnel syndrome -- and assumed, wrongly, that it would dissipate by itself. It didn't.

After several days of being completely unable to feel the last two fingers on my right hand -- and after much research -- it appeared that I had damaged, or at least dislodged, the ulnar nerve in my elbow. One proposed solution was surgery -- to re-set the ulnar nerve back into place, but with no promise of a "cure." With no desire to have a surgeon open up my arm, and no funds to see a doctor anyway (much less a PT or other specialist), I took matters into my own hands (no pun intended), and tried a very common therapy technique.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and cannot say this will work for you, nor do I recommend it to anyone -- but it worked for me:

Hold the palm of your hand up to your face, and then, slowly, extend your arm outward and away from your body until it is approximately level with the floor. Do this two or three times in succession, several times a day (or as much as you can stand).

For me, this exercise seemed to do absolutely no good for the first three or four days. But then, I found it much easier and less painful to extend my arm, and easier to do the exercise more quickly, and more frequently, throughout the day.

Within three weeks, I had full feeling back in my fingers, and no pain or tingling at all in my arm.

Again, I am not a medical professional, and I am not dispensing medical advice. This is simply what worked for me -- at a time I worried that I would never again be able to feel sensation in the outer half of my hand. (YMMV!)

How about you? Have you had this sort of issue? What did you do about it?