Radial Tunnel Syndrome
As the elbow bends and moves, the tendons, bones, ligaments and muscles create tunnels for the nerves to pass through to the wrist and hand. One passage is the radial tunnel, which runs on the outside of the elbow and shelters the radial nerve. If the moving and working components press on this nerve due to injury or overuse, it can cause radial tunnel syndrome. It is a combination of elbow pain and dysfunction. If you are suffering from radial tunnel syndrome, our medical team at Medici Spine & Pain can find the right treatment to give you relief.
The radial nerve serves the forearm, wrist and hand. The radial tunnel can be compromised by certain movements that use the surrounding ligaments, muscles and tendons. Gripping while twisting or bending the wrist repeatedly can aggravate this area of the elbow. Certain sports and work activities are common causes of radial tunnel syndrome. When the radial nerve is irritated due to pressure by muscles and fascia, it can cause the following symptoms:
- Stabbing or piercing pain on the outside of the elbow, forearm or back of the hand
- Noticeable pain when straightening the wrist or fingers
- Weakness in the forearm or wrist
Although pressure on the radial nerve causes the symptoms, it affects the muscles, not the smaller nerves in the forearm, wrist and hand. It is not uncommon for tingling, burning or numbness associated with nerve pain to occur due to radial tunnel syndrome.
Treatments for Radial Tunnel Syndrome
In comparison to other types of tunnel syndromes that affect the arm and hand (carpal and cubital), radial tunnel syndrome is rare. When it does occur, there are conservative treatments that can help manage and control symptoms. If rest and OTC anti-inflammatory medications are not effective in relieving symptoms, we can help at Medici Spine & Pain. Physical therapy, steroid injections and other non-invasive treatments help give you relief and prevent further issues with the radial nerve.
If you have ongoing pain or weakness in your arm, wrist or hand, you may be suffering from radial or cubital tunnel syndrome. Contact Medici Spine & Pain today to discuss treatment options.