Ulnar Nerve Irritation: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment By Elbow Braces

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What Is Ulnar Nerve Irritation?
What Is Ulnar Nerve Irritation?

What Is Ulnar Nerve Irritation?In The Ankle?

The ulnar nerve is one of the primary nerves in the human arm. It runs in the neck and travels through the entire arm towards the wrist. Ulnar nerve irritation or ulnar nerve entrapment happens when the nerve in the arm or wrist becomes compressed or irritated.

This nerve-related irritation usually occurs in two main areas: the elbow and the wrist. The entrapment in the elbow at the level of the cubital tunnel is called cubital tunnel syndrome. It is the second most common nerve problem due to compression. The excessive pressure buildup in the wrist is called Guyon’s canal syndrome, which occurs rarely.

The common symptoms of ulnar nerve irritation include:

  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Tenderness in the elbow joint
  • Weakness or tenderness in the hand

Tingling in the palm, ring, and little finger.

What Causes Ulnar Nerve Irritation?
What Causes Ulnar Nerve Irritation?

What Causes Ulnar Nerve Irritation?

  • Activities that stretch the ulnar nerve in the elbow or put a lot of pressure on the elbow can cause ulnar canal syndrome.


  • Sleeping with a bent elbow for an extended period can cause or worsen symptoms of the irritated ulnar nerve.


  • In some people, the ulnar nerve extends behind the elbow when it is bent. Over time, the flexing of the arm back and forth can irritate nerves.


  • Leaning on the elbow for an extended period puts pressure on the nerves, which can cause ulnar nerve irritation.


  • Fluid buildup in the elbow can cause swelling and compress the nerve.


  • A direct blow to the inside of the elbow can cause pain, shock, and numbness in the little finger and the ring finger. This is often called “hitting the funny bone.”

How to Do Ulnar Nerve Irritation Treatment?

In most cases, symptoms can be managed with nonsurgical approaches. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if nonsurgical treatment fails to provide relief.


Nonsurgical treatment:

  • In cases where pain has just started, the use of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is recommended by doctors to help reduce nerve swelling.
  • A brace or splint may be used to keep the arm straight, especially at night.
  • Some doctors suggest nerve gliding exercises to help the ulnar nerve slide through the cubital canal in the elbow and Guyon’s canal in the wrist to relieve symptoms. These exercises can also help prevent arm and wrist stiffness.


Surgical treatment:

The doctor recommends surgical therapy if:

  • Nonsurgical treatment fails to improve symptoms
  • There is severe nerve compression
  • Muscle weakness or damage due to nerve compression

How To Run Without Irritating Your Ulnar Nerve

To reduce the risk of ulnar nerve entrapment or relieve symptoms:

  • Do stretching exercises. Stretch your arms throughout the day if you engage in activities that keep your elbows bent for extended periods.
  • Do not rest your elbows on a chair, armrest, or desk while typing or working on the computer. Instead, sit at the proper height to allow your arms to straighten.
  • Keep your arm straight at night to avoid sleeping on a bent elbow.
  • Avoid leaning on the elbow or putting pressure on the inside of the elbow.

What is ulnar nerve irritation recovery time?

Light exercise provides quick recovery. A person may return to daily routine within four weeks of completing activities.

Recovery after surgery varies from person to person and largely depends on the procedure performed. Nerves recover gradually, surgical results from ulnar nerve treatment are generally good, and most people can expect a full or nearly complete recovery. However, a person may require wearing a splint for 3 to 6 weeks.

What Is the Best Elbow Brace for Ulnar Nerve Irritation

Wearing a brace helps reduce ulnar nerve irritation or symptoms associated with it. For example, your doctor may recommend a cubital tunnel syndrome brace to treat numbness or tingling in fingers, weak grip, coordination in fingers, and muscle wasting.


WorldBrace’s cubital tunnel syndrome brace is specially designed to treat ulnar nerve syndrome. It supports and holds the elbow at degrees which is beneficial for treating ulnar nerve pain and reducing other symptoms such as numbness and tingling.


The user-friendly feature of an elbow brace for ulnar nerve care is that it is washable. In addition, the mount is lightweight and breathable so you can wear it all day.


WorldBrace Wrist brace helps treat wrist nerve damage and also cubital tunnel syndrome. In addition, the wrist and elbow brace stabilizes the thumb and wrist and provides extra padding. Learn more about WorldBrace‘s full line of products for treating ulnar nerve irritation.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Ulnar Nerve Entrapment - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim


Activities that stretch the ulnar nerve in the elbow or put a lot of pressure on the elbow can cause ulnar nerve irritation. Sleeping with the elbow bent for a long time can also cause or exacerbate the ulnar nerve-related symptoms.

If left untreated, the condition can cause severe muscle weakness and permanent damage to the arm or wrist.

You may feel the tingle in your arm or wrist. This may be accompanied by an electric sensation in the growing nerve fibers; the location of this sensation should change as the nerve heals and grows.



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