There are many causative factors that lead to forearm and elbow nerve pain. Firstly what is nerve pain? Nerve pain generally feels like sharp, shooting, burning, pins and needles, numbness or weakness. Pain can be referred or begin in the neck, shoulder or elbow itself, as this is the path these nerves travel along. The nerves that refer to this area include the median nerve, ulnar or deep radial nerve. Damage or any disease affecting these nerves is referred to as a peripheral neuropathy. These peripheral nerves are common and at higher risk of being damage due to their superficial position, long path ways through areas that are likely to get damaged, and narrow areas as it passes through bony structures (like the elbow)
It is important to identify nerve pain and rule out other musculoskeletal conditions that present very similarly. This includes; tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, compartment syndrome, carpel tunnel syndrome just to name a few.
Firstly Median nerve pain presents as non-local pain in the anterior forearm. There is usually associated weakness and numbness in the distribution (thumb, pointer and middle finger). Those who commonly suffer from median nerve pain, have a history of repetitive resisted motion of turning the hand around.
The ulnar nerve is another common cause of elbow and forearm nerve pain. This is caused by repetitive elbow flexion and extension, leaning on the elbow or from direct trauma such as dislocation, fracture or long period of pressure. The most common site for the pain is in the inner side of your elbow. It will begin as pins and needles sensation in the nerve distribution (forearm, pinky and half of ring finger), then with an achy pain in the elbow in and forearm. For more chronic and severe cases, the muscles supplied by the ulnar nerve will be very weak. A test for this is called the Froment’s sign where the patient grips the thumb to index finger. If unable to do so it is indicative of weakness of muscles supplied by the ulnar nerve.
Lastly the Deep Radial nerve is another cause of forearm and elbow pain. This has a very similar presentation to tennis elbow, therefore it is crucial to identify the exact condition for appropriate treatment. However this is less common so is usually ruled out purely on this factor. Pain and tenderness for the radial nerve is felt at the posterior aspect of the forearm close to the outer side of the elbow. This is due to either a partial or complete paralysis to the radial nerve. There is no sensory impairment (no changes to sensation) with this particular peripheral neuropathy.
Chiropractors are highly trained in identifying and differentiating the specific cause of your elbow or forearm symptoms. They will do this by running through several orthopedic tests, such a muscles and nerve tests. Once they have identified and diagnosed you with the condition, appropriate care can take place. The skilled chiropractors at Lakeside Chiropractic, offer a variety of treatment modalities that will get you on your road to recovery. Firstly the most crucial factor is advice on activity modifications, altering certain activities that will progress the elbow and forearm pain or prevent the recovery. Stretches, strengthening, adjustments, dry needling, soft tissue therapy, mobilizations, inferential therapy can all be incorporated in your treatment that is specifically catered to your condition.
If you would like one of our friendly, professional chiropractors in Perth - Joondalup to assess an area of concern please call us on 9300 0095 or book online at www.lakesidechiro.com.au
Lakeside Chiropractic is located in the northern suburbs of Perth- Joondalup – Central Walk. Surrounding Suburbs include Sorrento, Hillarys, Burns Beach, Iluka, Craigie, Beldon, Ocean Reef, Mullaloo, Currambine, Kinross, Woodvale and Kingsley. We have a HICAPS terminal onsite which allows for same day claiming from your Private Health Fund. We are a Medibank preferred provider but are also able to claim form other Funds like HBF, BUPA, HIF, NIB, SGIO, CU Health, HCF, Westfund. If your Fund isn’t listed please ask us when booking your next visit.
Lakeside chiropractors are more than just about the spine.