Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition in which additional pressure is being put on your ulnar nerve, causing pain when the elbow is flexed. Your ulnar nerve is located under what people refer to as their "funny bone."
The ulnar nerve is particularly suseptible to damage and pressure due to it being very near the bone. If you are experiencing pressure on your ulnar nerve, you may feel numbness, tingling, and/or pain in either your upper or lower arm.
If there is extra pressure on your ulnar nerve in any situation, it is very likely that your elbow, forearm, and hand will fall asleep.
Causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
There are many causes for cubital tunnel syndrome, and some are not so obvious. Sometimes, the cause is as simple as sleeping on your arm wrong, in which case the numbness or tingling should go away on its own.
However, sometimes tissue or muscle structure growth can put pressure on the nerve. If this is the case, the resulting pain and discomfort will not likely go away on its own and you may need treatment from a trained orthopedic specialist.
Depending on the amount of pressure on the nerve, minor surgery may help to reduce or completely remove the symptoms you have been feeling in your elbow. However, if there is significant pressure on the nerve, surgery might not be a useful treatment. An orthopedic specialist can help to determine the severity of your condition with a few minor, non-invasive tests.
Another treatment an orthopedic specialist might suggest is changing the type of movements you participate in that involve your elbow, although, this may not be a good option if you play a sport professionally. Instead, you might have to wear a special elbow pad to make sure that your elbow isn’t under extra stress. Also, it might be suggested that you sleep with an elbow splint to keep it secure and in the right position.
If you are experiencing numbness, tingling, or pain in your elbow or arm, you should talk to an orthopedic specialist.