Anyone out there have/had cubital tunnel syndrome?

 I have horrible aches in my biceps and elbows on both arms and tingling and numbness in the 4th and 5th fingers on each hand.....  how do I make it go away??

Help appreciated!

Ian

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OUCH!  The subject is dealt with here:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/cubi...

an excerpt:

How is cubital tunnel syndrome treated?

The most effective treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome is stopping the activity that is causing the problem. Treatment may include:

  • Resting and stopping any activity that aggravates the condition, such as bending the elbow

  • A splint or foam elbow brace worn at night (to limit movement and reduce irritation)

  • Using an elbow pad (to protect against chronic irritation from hard surfaces)

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines (such as ibuprofen or naproxen)

  • Nerve gliding exercises

If these treatments do not work, the healthcare provider may talk to you about:

  • Steroid injections to help reduce swelling and pain

  • Surgery

Thanks Jody,

I have has symptoms, on and off, for a while now but after a few days of lifting heavy timber beams overhead and cutting a large hedge with heavy hedge trimmers I am in real pain... poor me!  I am trying to do nothing and pop Ibuprofen tablets but it seems to be making little difference at the moment.

All part of the joy of getting older I guess... the banjo is staying in its case for a while :-(

Oh, that sucks!

I've been dealing with what I think is tennis elbow, though I won't know until I see a doctor next month.  So far I can still play banjo but my elbow burns when I stop and extend my arm straight. 

Considering that I am a textbook candidate for repetitive motion injury (work at a computer all day, 2nd job of constantly hammering and operating machines for making bridges, thimbles, etc., playing musical instruments-- I tick all the boxes).  So I'll see how it goes.

And like you Ian, after a weekend of chain sawing, stacking, and clearing brush, my arm is blazingly painful. 

Joel and Ian,

I have found that ice really helps reduce inflammation. 20 minutes of contact between the painful area with a bag of frozen peas (for instance) wrapped in a thin towel does wonders. Sometimes arnica gel or "Sports Ice" cream works too. In the long run resting the injury  has helped me. I've had injuries so painful that Ibuprofen does nothing. But resting the injured part did help.

Joel Hooks said:

Oh, that sucks!

I've been dealing with what I think is tennis elbow, though I won't know until I see a doctor next month.  So far I can still play banjo but my elbow burns when I stop and extend my arm straight. 

Considering that I am a textbook candidate for repetitive motion injury (work at a computer all day, 2nd job of constantly hammering and operating machines for making bridges, thimbles, etc., playing musical instruments-- I tick all the boxes).  So I'll see how it goes.

And like you Ian, after a weekend of chain sawing, stacking, and clearing brush, my arm is blazingly painful. 

I never heard of Cubital Whatsis. Now I don't want it!

I would think Cubital Tunnel syndrome would be limited to one side or the other. If you have both sides affected, maybe you should be thinking more about spinal issues. Miz Diane had to have two cervical vertebrae fused and before the surgery she was having severe pains in both arms/hands. I'm not a doctor...but I would see a specialist.

I am still fighting plantar fasciitis from back in March. In the mornings, I can hardly walk for the first few minutes. Left heel feels like it has a dagger stuck in the bottom. Once I stretch it out, the pain mitigates. I have finally gotten to where I can walk the dog around the block. Had to get very soft spongy shoes (trainers).

Yup, getting old is a pain.

I hope you recover soon. 

 A day stacking and burning off a pile of downed tree branches or an afternoon reducing a block of wood with a 3/4 in. gouge puts me in much the same place as Ian and Joel. Arm muscles inflame and go taut. Nerves balk and joints hurt. Rest is paramount .

I'm no MD but have had issues for years now and find that relaxing over-tightened muscles with a simple stretch exercise really helps. Extend one arm forward horizontally and with the opposite hand, raise the extended arm's  fingertips until they are vertical, and hold for 30 seconds. Then extend the other arm and do the same. Repeat 5 or 10 times. This stretches the tightened forearm and upper arm muscles, relaxing them. You should feel improvement at wrist and elbow as well. Repeat later as necessary.

Hi Ian,

I suffered from cubital tunnel for a few years . . . I got it from years of playing heavy metal on the electric guitar. It's a condition that one never truly recovers from, but it can be managed. The tingling in the little finger and ring finger that you are describing is fairly indicative of it. Here is my advice, which has been influenced by a fair number of doctors that have treated me over the years.

1. Heat helps alleviate nerve pain, not ice. This isn't an inflammation issue, it is a nerve compression issue. Take steaming hot baths and soak your hands/arms/elbows in hot water multiple times a day.

2. Read up on Alexander Technique and make sure you are bending your elbows sufficiently whenever lifting heavy objects. Be careful if you exercise your arms . . . again, this is a nerve compression issue, not a strength issue. It is best to cease activities for the time being that require your elbow to be repeatedly stretched and bent.

3. Don't sleep with your elbows bent or crossed under your pillow. When I first began treatment I had to sleep on my side with one arm outstretched. I'd switch sides/arms multiple times throughout the night. Now that I have recovered and have the condition under control, I sleep on one side and always keep the same arm/elbow outstretched (never fully - keep a slight bend in it). One of my arms is worse than the other and requires more management.

4. Cease whatever activity is causing the pain - usually a sharp pain at the elbow or an aching/burning pain along the outside of the wrist. For me that meant abandoning the guitar completely for a few years. I now am able to play it sparingly, but I have to be very careful as it's easy to bring about the cubital tunnel symptoms if I play for too long. Luckily I can play as much banjo as I like . . . in fact, I discovered the banjo when I was looking for a replacement for the guitar after my diagnosis. 

5. Do not rest your elbows on any hard surfaces. Do not "fish" your wrists outwards during activities. You may need an ergonomic keyboard for typing. 

If you do all of this, you'll find that the pain gets better over time and eventually dissipates. You'll still accidentally agitate things every once in a while, but overall the condition will be manageable. 

I hope this helps.

Thank you so much to everyone for information and advice on this wretched condition. John, your suggestions are extremely helpful as you describe exactly what I have and what seems to relieve it. I always used to sleep with my arm bent under the pillow but have recently forced myself to do as you suggest and keep the arm straight out as it relieves the pain a bit.  The dull ache like you have banged your funny bone is very draining and I will give the hot water treatment a try. I will also look up the Alexander technique too... I have never heard of it!

It is much more helpful to hear from people who have actually had the condition than get suggestions from all the crackpots on the Web. ;-)

I am off now for a cup of tea and more Ibuprofen !!!

I don’t have any great advice. But, I do have nerve damage in my hands. I have found that heat and warm water both help with the pain. 

I really hope your situation improves. 

I have recently found out what it is like not to be able to play an instrument for an extended period of time due to injury and it really stinks.

All the best,

Ryan

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