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Ulnar Nerve Compression

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black walnut 04 Apr 02 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com 04 Apr 02 - 09:15 AM
wysiwyg 04 Apr 02 - 09:36 AM
Catherine Jayne 04 Apr 02 - 10:38 AM
bobby's girl 04 Apr 02 - 04:22 PM
black walnut 05 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
katlaughing 05 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM
Bearheart 09 Apr 02 - 05:53 PM
Charcloth 09 Apr 02 - 10:41 PM
ciarili 11 Apr 02 - 11:02 PM
Charcloth 11 Apr 02 - 11:43 PM
black walnut 12 Apr 02 - 01:33 PM
black walnut 13 Apr 02 - 01:47 PM
Charcloth 13 Apr 02 - 06:09 PM
black walnut 18 Apr 02 - 12:10 PM
black walnut 25 Apr 02 - 12:42 PM
black walnut 23 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM
Ebbie 23 Nov 03 - 07:51 PM
smallpiper 24 Nov 03 - 04:57 AM
black walnut 24 Nov 03 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,Sharon G 24 Nov 03 - 01:51 PM
Bill D 24 Nov 03 - 10:59 PM
EBarnacle 25 Nov 03 - 09:26 AM
black walnut 25 Nov 03 - 12:52 PM
Catherine Jayne 25 Nov 03 - 02:22 PM
black walnut 25 Nov 03 - 03:13 PM
Catherine Jayne 25 Nov 03 - 05:30 PM
black walnut 26 Nov 03 - 06:52 AM
EBarnacle 26 Nov 03 - 01:37 PM
black walnut 26 Nov 03 - 02:14 PM
black walnut 26 Nov 03 - 04:39 PM
GUEST 27 Apr 12 - 07:24 AM
GUEST,Monki 07 Jan 13 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 08:56 AM

I've just started going to physio for treatment for ulnar nerve compression, and thought I'd see if anyone here has suffered the same thing. I found a thread here on a somewhat similar problem, CT syndrome, and discovered on that thread that Oversoul has had surgery for ulnar entrappment. So, there's one of you for sure....and does anyone else know what I'm talking about?

When the ulnar nerve is compressed for any length of time, it produces numbness and pain from the elbow down to the fingers, especially affecting the use of the ring and little fingers.

I am a HARP player!!! This is happening in my right arm, my 'melody' arm, I have a big gig coming up in a couple of weeks and I can't practice. It's driving me crazy. I had non-stop numbness and coldness for over a month, from the beginning of February to the middle of March, and although those particular symptoms have eased up considerable (simply by changing what side of the bed I sleep on), I still can hardly write with a pen, hold a cup, stir soup, play guitar, steer the wheel....and typing this into my computer right now is killing me!

So, all for now,

~black walnut


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: GUEST,kevinhowcroft@hotmail.com
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 09:15 AM

treatment for u.n. is 2-3wks rest. there should be no symptoms above the wrist, are you pressing your elbows down or have you changed your excercises. if not better after rest seek further investigation gp/neurology. my condolences, dont think ultrasound likely to speed up recovery. ps dont take up sop sax and play squash after practicing- Im still suffering from tennis elbow 4 years after.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 09:36 AM

Read up on recovery from inflammatory conditions over at the Annexe-- lots of stuff there that should help.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 10:38 AM

Hi, my ulner nerve was trapped for over 3 years and physio was not the answer. If it is trapped for any length of time it can cause permanent damage. I had to have an operation to save my carrer but sadly it was too little too late. I know the pain and what you are going through. If you want to talk more PM me and I would be more than happy to.

CatsPHiddle x


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: bobby's girl
Date: 04 Apr 02 - 04:22 PM

My ulnar nerve became compressed following a fall, and about 18 months later I had an operation to decompress it. Thankfully it was successful, although the tip of my elbow is still numb 24 years later, and my elbow aches in the cold and damp, though I think thats probably a result of the damage caused in the fall rather than the entrapment or subsequent decompression.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for the answers. I'm struck by how many seem to end up needing surgery for this. I'm taking this very seriously, and will do lots of research.

Thanks again,

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 Apr 02 - 03:32 PM

I would recommend finding a good acupuncturist to talk with, also. My tennis elbow was extremely painful when I went to my doctor in January. He wanted me to wear a brace and rest it. My acu-guy had me keep the brace off, so that there would be no restriction of circulation of blood and "chi". We also treated it with acupuncture, LOTS of rest, and a tincture called Zhen Gu Shui which translates to "middle bone water." I cut a hole in the end of an old, LOOSE tube sock, put it on my arm and kept it moist with the tincture. You can also just dab it on with a cotton ball or lay gauze over the sore spot and pour it on. This should be done frequently for as long as it takes for the pain to diminish. I kept it up for about 4 weeks. I also put it in a spray bottle and applied it that way, BUT some people find it too cold to use in a mist.

It is important NOT to have any constriction when using it, NO ACE bandages etc., as one could burn their skin. I also applied a wheat hull heat pillow to it, for short periods of time and NOT very hot. All of this helped, tremendously. I went back to my regular doc the end of Feb. and he was simply amazed, declared the tennis elbow all gone, as I could have told him.:-)

Years ago, when I had specific problems with my ulnar nerve, I went to an occupational therpy clinic to be assessed. They eventually told me I was accidentally hitting my elbows on things, such as doors, window jambs, etc. without noticing and because my nerve lies very close to the surface it was causing tremendous aching and debilitating pain in my little fingers and the outer half of each ring finger. Their solution was simple. They have me a soft elbow pad to wear on each one and it helped a lot. I find they are getting more senstive right now because I've been leaning on a table while making jewellry, so I will probably go back to wearing them, again, when doing that kind of work.

Hope this helps,

kat


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Bearheart
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 05:53 PM

I am a licensed massage therapist and do Structural Therapy-- a myofascial massage similar to Rolfing. I have had good success with similar problems depending on the cause. The important thing is to figure out where the pain is originating from/first cause. For instance, you can have referred pain from nerve entrapment at the cervical vertebrae or in the shoulder. If you play harp alot (I play harp but not professionally) it is possible that the harp playing itself is causing the problem, if you are constricting the ulnar nerve by your arm position (tightness in shoulders and neck) or if you have had an injury. The good news is that if this is the problem you can very likely address it by appropriate massage and/or work with some one trained to assess your body posture, such as someone trained in Alexander technique. It may be that you can address it by changing your playing position, or that doing so will give you some relief.

I agree with Kat that acupuncture is very likely to help.

Be sure that whatever you try, you get references. Lots of things could probably help, but any technique is only as good as the practitioner. I know some incredible people in the Chicago area who get regular referrals from area doctors and PTs, when they can't help them. They are bodyworkers who also do acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Good luck!

Bekki


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Charcloth
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 10:41 PM

I had the surgery done about 12 years ago & don't regret it at all I also had tendonitis in the other arm * had that operated on about 8 years ago. The ulna nerve entrapment came about from my occupation at the time. I literally wore out the cartilage in my left arm. I will soon be a liscensed massage therapist in Ohio & will agree that massage therapy cane sometimes help. But would not have helped me. If surgery needs to be done it should be done wothout delay. I am not trying to frighten you but.. Every time you use that arm you are abraising that nerve & could lose the use of it.
one thing you can try is using a castor oil wrap on it at night when you sleep. Castor oil has a lot of healing qualites. But you do want COLD PRESSED CASTOR OIL. If you have any more questions that I can help you with feel free to PM me
Charcloth


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: ciarili
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 11:02 PM

Mine got mashed in a car accident, and I have to be sure to take care how I use my arms now. I don't carry loads very far, I have to sleep with my arms straight, and when I experience pain, I take it easy. Position is everything - I play harmonium, and I have to shift it around on my knees so that the angle of my arm varies!

I have a friend who'd had the surgery, but they did his arms differently. In one, they did it the old way. In the other, they embedded the nerve deep in the muscle. The latter operation was far more successful, so if it comes to surgery, maybe you could make sure they do it that way. It's been a long time since I've seen that friend, so I'm afraid I've forgotten many of the details, but knowing I may be facing at the same possibility I did remember that!

Best of luck. I have horrible allergies here in So. California and I'm a singer, so I've got performance issues myself. Blah.

ciarili


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Charcloth
Date: 11 Apr 02 - 11:43 PM

They buried mine deep in the muscle too. That is the only way to go!


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 12 Apr 02 - 01:33 PM

Has anyone had any success with having a physiotherapist stretch scar tissue on the nerve? My physio wants to try this bext week (not until after my big harp gig, in case it produces more pain than I already experience).

She suggested that I get on a waiting list for a surgeon, 'just in case'. In this part of Canada, waiting lists for specialists can be many months long....I know this from experience.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 01:47 PM

I have a rehearsal with my guitar player this afternoon, for our little performance coming up this Monday. Painkillers help the pain, but neither the numbness nor the weakness. Incredible how depressing one little nerve can be! Thank heavens for the endorphins that come from simply making the music.....

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Charcloth
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:09 PM

Just as a side here, It isn't just a little nerve. With it permanatly dammaged you wind up with what they call "claw hand" or "The Popes hand" cause your hand will always be shaped like the Pope's is when he does his blessing type thing.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 18 Apr 02 - 12:10 PM

Good point!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 25 Apr 02 - 12:42 PM

Physiotherapy has worked wonders. combination of heat, stretching, weight lifting, massage. Symptoms gone. Haven't begun to play harp again. Took a complete rest. And not much writing or computer keyboarding either. So, we'll see what happens when I go back to those 'irritating' things, when I'm allowed to, next week....

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM

Back again. Can't play harp - ulnar nerve compression. I went back for a new physio assessment last week - she thinks I have double crush (neck and elbow) and I have to go for more tests. I can hardly play harp or piano or play cards or type or play guitar or do anything useful (=musical or fun) . It's driving me crazy!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 07:51 PM

I'm sorry you're going through such an ordeal, black walnut. What prognosis are you given?

I'm currently going through a rather odd thing involving the ring finger of my left hand. (See 'Finger Pain in the Left Hand') I've resolved to not play any guitar for at least a week- haven't played since Friday night. I figure if it's better after resting a few days that I'm on the right track.

The guitarist son of a friend of mine is having a lot of trouble with his elbow. He's in the band of talented youngsters that call themselves 'Bearfoot Bluegrass'. (Took first at Telluride last year.) His mother moved back to Cordova Alaska for the winter so I don't have any further word on his condition. From the sound of it, it could be ulnar compression. I hope not. I once developed a bad shoulder from playing my big guitar. Eventually I learned that if I dropped my arm just below the big curve of its body I can play just as well and it doesn't hurt my shoulder.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: smallpiper
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 04:57 AM

It happened to me just after I got my new Border pipes I rested it for a couple of weeks and went to see an osteopath who worked n the muscles around it for a while. I thank god it worked for me.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:26 AM

Yes, Ebbie, I read your thread. Lowering the action sounded like a good thing to do, whatever the underlying problem turns out to be.

My ulnar nerve thing has bothered me off and on for years. It's getting worse for sure. It started a few years back with the lap dulcimer, and it used to act up if I played in a 'bad' position for an extended length of time on dulcimer or harp or piano. Things would get inflamed and when the inflammation got treated, the nerve would behave. This summer it bothered me when driving for a couple of hours at a time (along the Digby Neck, N.S. was the worst). Heat / ultrasound / stretching therapies used to work. Now it doesn't take any time at all to feel numbness and pain. Only time will tell if the same therapies work again!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: GUEST,Sharon G
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 01:51 PM

My sympathies-
I suffer from thoracic outlet syndrome, with ulnar nerve symptoms and also restricted circulation problems in my right arm. So I also   Right now, it's back in "remission" after getting treatment from a great physical therapist and massage therapist... and rest.

I hope that you can get some relief and treatment that works. In my case, I know it will always be with me to some extent, and I have to keep up with exercises and pay attention to avoid overuse that sends me into more severe problems that prevent playing music altogether.

Good luck
Sharon


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:59 PM

a search in Google

(I had numb, aching arms several years ago which turned out to be pinched nerve in cervical vertabrae....had a cortisone shot, which helped a lot)...but I don't see them recommending that for ulnar nerve..surgery seems to be one option if it gets too bad...


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: EBarnacle
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:26 AM

I had the surgery several years ago. The relief was immediate, even though the scar is long. The result is similar to what I went through with carpal tunnel--if I had done it early, I could have gotten on with my life a lot earlier and avoided a lot of pain and discomfort. If it is interfering with your life that much, get it done and move on.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 12:52 PM

Well, I went to the doctor yesterday and she's got me booked for Xrays and electrodiagnostics. Meanwhile, until that all happens within the next few weeks, I'll continue with physio. Once they know exactly what and where this is happening, we can decide whether surgery is an option. If it is, and if it means playing harp again with two hands, I'll gladly do it. I've had to cancel 2 upcoming harp gigs because of this - the doctor said that if I play, I might cause permanent nerve damage, and I certainly don't want/need that!

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:22 PM

I had surgery on mine and it meant that I couldn't play for a minimum of 6 weeks after but it was well worth it to play again with no numbness, pins and needles and pain. I have however suffered some permanent nerve damage through not resting it and not getting the surgery soon enough. I wish you all the best an dhope it gets better soon.

Khatt


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 03:13 PM

What do you mean by permanent damage, K'phiddle? Weakness?
And how much rest? Did you splint your arm?

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: Catherine Jayne
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:30 PM

I have some numbness and weekness in my little finger and ring finger but no where near as much numbness as I had before the surgery. The easiest way to describe the feeling is: it feels as though I am feeling through plastic gloves. Its been 3 years now since the operation and I have stopped taking hot pans out of the oven without noticing the heat. I have no pain which is great. I can play again which took time and alot of patience......I kept getting frustrated about not being able to play. After the surgery I rested for the minimum of 6 weeks and then started playing slowly again....not over doing it. The arm healed well and my scar is about 6inches long. Its on the inside of my elbow and has faded really well. I had physio for 12 weeks which helped loads. For the first 4 weeks after the surgery my arm was in a strong bandage...for support....and to stop me over using it! After that I had a tubigrip bandage on it. It was never in a splint although the doctors threatened to put my arm in a cast if I didn't behave myself and rest it!

I don't regret having the surgery, I just wish I had opted for it sooner.

Good luck, I hope all goes well.

Khatt


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:52 AM

Physio helped me through the last wave, and maybe it will be enough this time too. I'm booked 4 times a week for several weeks. (Thank heavens for OHIP). She told me not to splint because that can cause other muscle problems.

The oven glove image is a good one, Khatt.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 01:37 PM

If the problem is recurrent and gets a bit worse each time, stop fooling yourself. Get the surgery. You are doing damage to yourself and your recovery will not be as much as if you had gone ahead and had it a year or two ago. Nerves do not regenerate under present regimens.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 02:14 PM

I'm not fooling myself! I'm getting the tests done. In fact, I just got back from my Xray. The electrodiagnostics don't happen until the New Year ~ that's the waiting list time ~ nothin' I can do about that. I am going to physio 4 times a week.   I am resting my arm. I cancelled my gigs. I play my Celtic harp only with my left hand, and I drive my car with a straight right arm and don't hold the phone with my right arm. I get my husband to cook and iron his own shirts (you know what I mean). I'll get my kids to wrap the Christmas presents and change the rabbit litter. I almost never type, except for right now. If the physio and the doctor say surgery, I'm there.   

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: black walnut
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 04:39 PM

Holey smokes! The physiotherapist told me today that she's 99.9% sure that I have a bulging disc in my neck....causing ulnar nerve symptoms!

She's going to treat me for that and see if she gets results.   

Often with arms and hands, you think it's one thing causing the pain or problems, and then you find out it's something completely different. And the treatments are totally different.

~b.w.


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 07:24 AM

Hi, I am not able to make an appointment with my surgeon because he is on holiday now and I do not know what to do.

I had submuscular transposition of the ulnar nerve on 31st march, on Tuesday 27th April I had the cast removed and today I just noticed that the nerve is still coming out of its groove at the elbow when I open and close my arm. I thought that they move the nerve under the muscle but it is popping exactly where it was before I had the surgery. Is this normal for the nerve to still be popping out of its groove in the same place?

Thanks for your time


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Subject: RE: Ulnar Nerve Compression
From: GUEST,Monki
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 04:29 PM

Hey guys.
I live in the uk and I'm having very similar problems to you all. I've had a trapped ulna nerve in my left arm for around 3 years. Had it operated on 7 months ago. All went well. Very painful for 12 weeks but worth it.
Only problem is the pain has returned. Gutted is an understatement. Has anyone had successful Physio?
Anti inflammatory drugs seem to work but don't want to be on them as cause upset stomach.
Keep me posted guys.
Upset sufferer


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