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Physical Therapy for Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Most of the time when you hear of pain or discomfort in the wrist, the first thought that comes to mind is carpal tunnel syndrome. However, that’s not always the case. Many people also experience ulnar tunnel syndrome which is somewhat similar and just as much of a hassle to deal with. At Impact Medical Bradenton, we want to help you prevent any sort of occurrence that can stunt the mobility of your hands.

What is Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome vs. Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome can be nearly identical to the average person as there’s just a slight difference between the two. While carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve in your hand passes through the carpal tunnel, ulnar tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve passes through the Guyon’s canal. To put it simply, ulnar tunnel syndrome is specific to the section of your hand that’s near the smaller pinky fingers.

Causes of Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

So, what causes ulnar tunnel syndrome in the first place? The most common reason is the appearance of a soft tissue tumor, otherwise known as a ganglion cyst which presses on the ulnar nerve causing severe discomfort. Another common cause is consistent, repeated trauma on that particular area of the hand. Examples of certain activities include bike riding, lifting weights, and any sort of machinery that causes repeated trauma to the wrists. More rarely, a broken hamate bone which is located in the wrist can also lead to ulnar tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms of Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

There are various signs of ulnar tunnel syndrome. Here are just a few:

  • Numbness or tingling caused by compressed nerves
  • Weakness in grip strength
  • Involuntary bending of the fingers
  • A burning sensation
  • General pain

How Physical Therapy Can Relieve Ulnar Tunnel Syndrome

Physical therapy (PT) is an ideal method for treating ulnar tunnel syndrome because it reduces swelling to restore regular movement back to the trouble area of your body, including your hands. In this case, neural or nerve mobilization (also referred to as neurodynamics) is an excellent option for relieving nerve-related issues like those due to compression. With this technique, a physical therapist gently applies pressure on the compressed nerve to help guide it through regular movement. The consistent motions and bending of the appendages gradually adjusts your hands back into working order.

How to Get Started

Since symptoms can be easily mistaken for other issues, the first thing you should do is receive a proper evaluation to confirm the problem at hand. From there, you will be given a detailed rundown of what is causing you distress followed by suggestions on steps to take next for the most efficient recovery.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your hands, come visit us at Impact Medical Bradenton for an evaluation so we can help you get started on the best course of action for peaceful living.