At one time one another you may have the misfortune of suffering some type of nerve damage arm. There are two major nerves in the arm that can be affected, the ulnar and the radial. There are a few causes of nerve damage that can occur, but the main causes are the overuse of the arm, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, nerve compression or injury. Since you require your arm to perform various important tasks in your life, you may at times overuse one of these nerves, whether as an administrative assistant, carpenter or you may even develop these symptoms due to diabetes. If you are using your hands in any type of constant physical capacity or are diabetic you are vulnerable.
Symptoms of nerve damage arm (radial nerve):
- Pain while bending the hand back at the wrist
- Tingling, numbness (fingers nearest the thumb – second and third), lessened or abnormal sensations and a burning sensation
- Straightening the arm at the elbow is done with difficulty
Symptoms of nerve damage arm (ulnar nerve):
- Numbness and tingling in the ring and little finger
- Finger coordination difficulty and a weakening of the grip
- Elbow fluid build up compressing the ulnar nerve
Your doctor will have to conduct diagnostic testing: a nerve biopsy, electromyogram (EMG), nerve conduction and/or a blood test, in order to confirm, whether you have suffered nerve arm damage. If diagnosed with nerve damage, you may find it difficult to use your hands to do very simple tasks like writing or in lifting objects.
Prior to any type of surgery, your doctor could recommend the following:
- Physical therapy to maintain muscle strength
- Splints and braces may prove helpful in alleviating pain
- Anti-inflammatory medicines, such as over the counter Ibuprofen may be prescribed
- A steroidal injection (cortisone), in more serious cases might be recommended
- In some extreme cases of ulnar nerve compression, resulting in severe carpal tunnel syndrome, there are three potential surgical procedures that could be performed: carpal tunnel release surgical procedure, ulnar nerve anterior transposition or the medial epicondylectomy is recommended
- A simple blood test to confirm or deny the existence of diabetes
Each of the following surgeries success rate is similar, in milder cases of nerve arm damage, however if the nerve is severely compressed, with evidence of arm muscle wasting, the nerve in all likelihood will not make a full recovery, and some symptoms prior to surgery will remain.
Since this nerve compression, in most cases are caused by overuse or carpal tunnel syndrome, it is recommended that at the onset of the above symptoms, that a splint specifically made for carpal tunnel syndrome be worn. This, in most cases will minimize any further damage and alleviate the numbness, pain, tingling and burning sensations.
With our society geared now towards computers, texting and video games, the rise of nerve damage arm will continue at a greater rate