If you've ever hit your funny bone you've experienced the sudden pain and nerve sensation of your ulnar nerve. Now, imagine having that all the time. While not everyone will experience this sensation in their lives, if and when you do it can be absolutely crippling. Worse still, if not taken care of, it can lead to a more severe and irreversible pain and/or numbness. While this post is specifically about ulnar nerve entrapment, the video shows how nerve pain in your hands and feet can be treated in a similar way. That is, treat the symptoms and the cause.
NOTE: Reflexology is considered a complementary practice and is not a replacement for medical care. Reflexology does not claim to cure, diagnose, prognose, or prescribe. If you have concerns about your health, seek advice from your doctor or health care provider. If you are experiencing nerve pain or numbness in your upper or lower limbs, or in your hands and feet, consult your doctor.
Since I'm not a doctor and cannot prescribe treatment, I wanted to share what worked for me, one human to another.
I work on clients with nerve pain and neuropathy on a fairly regular basis. So, having ulnar nerve entrapment was an incredible opportunity to have greater insight and compassion for those suffering from nerve pain.
I discovered resting, reflexology, and nerve gliding exercises were the most effective.
Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
What you will learn:
1. Where is the Ulnar Nerve Located:
The ulnar nerve originates in your neck and travels down your arm, ending in your hand and forth and fifth fingers
2. Causes of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment:
- Elbow bent for extended periods (as one does on the phone, computer, or while driving);
- Arm bent while sleeping;
- Working with any sort of vibrating equipment;
- Leaning on your elbow or lower palms for work (as one would in massage therapy);
- Resting forearms on handlebars while riding a bike.
3. Sensations of Ulnar Nerve Entrapment:
- Radiating nerve pain;
- Inability to open things easily;
4. Where Sensations would be Felt:
- Under the collarbone;
- The backside (where the triceps are) and the underbelly of the arm;
- Inner elbow (medial epicondyle of the elbow);
- Along the inner arm where the ulna is located (think the side that your pinky is on);
- A portion of the hand below the 4th and 5th digits;
- Lower half the ring finger;
- Pinky finger.
5. Rest, Reflexology, and Nerve Gliding Exercises:
There are some indications or reasons why ulnar nerve pain can happen. A ganglion cyst over that region is a good indicator (I've had one on my inner wrist for a number of years). Cysts let us know there's a blockage and may indicate someone is more susceptible. Back in the day they would just slap a bible on top of it, but that seems a bit harsh (and random). I prefer a much gentler approach.
In addition to resting, I worked the areas on my hand that were in pain, which included the palm and 4th and 5th digits. I also did gentle compressions on my arm and wrist, and nerve gliding exercises (2). After I discovered the pain was originating in my cervical and thoracic spine, I worked those reflexology points.
While there is still at times a dull sensation present, I consider it a reminder to reevaluate my body mechanics, what I'm doing, and to continue to take care.
Chantel C. Lucier, and her company, The AtHome Experience, are dedicated to educating and enlivening the individual towards greater connection to themselves, each other, and their community. By teaching people how to care for themselves at home, The AtHome Experience aims to empower people to create and sustain optimal health and well-being. By caring for ourselves and each other we construct and co-create a better future!