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Treatment For Ulnar Nerve Palsy, Wrist Pain & Claw Hand Non-invasively

Chiropractic Specialty Center® provides focused non-surgical treatment for ulnar nerve palsy, ulnar nerve damage & claw hand. This article brings you in-depth information on the causes of ulnar nerve damage and provides therapy options that get you better non-invasively (without injections or surgery); contact us today to learn your best options for a faster recovery with lasting relief.

An ulnar nerve damage results from direct trauma or repetitive actions, injuring the nerve at the wrist or elbow near the funny bone. Ulnar nerve palsy results when the injured ulnar nerve is neglected, and a neglected injured nerve undergoes degenerative changes. Degeneration of the ulnar nerve is the leading cause of ulnar nerve palsy.

An ulnar nerve palsy or damage can occur at the elbow, forearm, or wrist. The most common injured site at the wrist is the Guyon tunnel, also called the ulnar canal or tunnel. The Guyon canal is a small or narrow passageway for the ulnar to enter the palm from the forearm. The cubital tunnel is an anatomical passageway for the ulnar nerve (also known as the musician’s nerve) just under the bony bump on the inner or medial side of the elbow or at the “funny bone.” 

Who Are At Greater Risks Of Getting 

The ulnar nerve controls the muscle of the forearm and wrist. It also innervates, controls, and monitors the intrinsic muscles of the hand and fingers (1st, 4th, & 5th digits), enabling fine motor movements, hence using the reason it is called a musician’s nerve. Occupations or activities requiring excessive or repetitive motion of the finger (1st, 4th & 5th digits) are at more significant risk. We have listed some common health conditions that may predispose you to ulnar nerve palsy or ulnar tunnel syndrome below:

  • Elbow, wrist, or hand arthritis
  • Cysts near the elbow or at the wrist
  • Ulna bone damage and fractures
  • Elbow or wrist joint dislocations
  • Patients with diabetes and hypothyroidism

Ulnar tunnel syndrome or nerve injury results from direct trauma at the wrist, forearm, or near the funny bone. When left untreated, it can lead to hand and wrist deformities (claw hand) with significant loss of sensation and movement. The claw hand or ulnar palsy is avoidable by getting focused holistic therapy in the early stages of ulnar canal syndrome. The classic presentation of ulnar nerve damage resulting in clawing of the hand and fingers due to excessive:

  • Flexion of the IP or interphalangeal joint of the 4th and 5th finger
  • Extension of the 4th and 5th fingers at the MCP (metacarpophalangeal joints)

Chiropractic Specialty Center® provides holistic non-invasive treatment for ulnar nerve compression through advanced methodology and breakthrough technology for lasting relief; contact our main center on 03 2093 1000 for more information on our services and locations.

What Is Clawing Of The Hand?

The clawing of the hand and finger results from a damaged ulnar nerve. Clawing occurs when the nerve is damaged near the wrist at the Guyon’s tunnel. However, ulnar nerve damage resulting from compression at the elbow’s cubital tunnel (near the funny bone) may not result in a claw hand. Compression of the nerve at the wist is the leading cause of claw hand because of its proximity to smaller muscles of the hand. 

What Is Ulnar Nerve Palsy?

The ulnar nerve controls half of the flexor digitorum profundus muscles (a strong extrinsic muscle) and the intrinsic muscles of the hand and finger. Ulnar nerve palsy is a neuronal disorder that causes damage and atrophy of the following intrinsic muscles of the hand:  

  1. All the interosseous muscles
  2. Flexor pollicis brevis
  3. Third and fourth lumbrical

Extrinsic hand and wrist muscles are the long muscles that originate in the elbow or forearm, while intrinsic muscles are the shorter and smaller muscles confined in the hand. The two main extrinsic muscles implicated in an ulnar nerve palsy are: 

  1. Flexor carpi ulnaris muscle: It assists with flexion and adduction of the hand at the wrist and is innervated wholly by the ulnar nerve.
  2. Flexor digitorum profundus muscle: Flexes fingers, hand, and wrist. The medial part is innervated by the ulnar nerve and controls the 4th and 5th finger flexion. The lateral parts (portions that flex the 2nd and 3rd finger) are innervated by the Median nerve.

What Are The Common Signs & Symptoms?

Ulnar nerve damage may result in loss of sensation and muscle function of the hand and finger controlled by the ulnar nerve. As stated above, the ulnar nerve controls the entire lumbrical muscles (palm muscles), including the thumb, 4th, and 5th finger flexors. We have listed common signs and symptoms of ulnar nerve damage as seen in claw hand or ulnar nerve palsy below: 

  • Pain in fingers or palm of the hand
  • Wrist pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Pain in the forearm
  • Claw hand
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in the hand
  • Loss of coordination in the fingers, especially in the 4th and 5th digits, along with the thumb
  • Weakness in the hand and lots of grip strength
  • Tenderness or pain at the elbow or wrist
  • Sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Numbness or tingling in your arm or wrist, especially during fine motor movements such as typing or playing musical instruments

How To Differentiate Ulnar Nerve Entrapment From Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome involves compression of the median nerve, and ulnar nerve compression differs from the Median nerve compression in its presentation. Your chances of having a carpal tunnel are definite if the pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, pins, and needles in your palms extend to your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. However, you have an ulnar nerve compression when your symptoms are confined to the outer palm and parts of the 4th finger and your pinky (the fifth finger). To learn more about ulnar nerve damage, please watch the video below:

How To Find Out If You Have An Ulnar Nerve Entrapment?

Tapping over the nerve at the funny bone region or on the inner side of the wrist may be tender and reproduce symptoms. Stretching the ulnar nerve by putting the hand behind the ear, lifting the elbow to the level horizontal to the ear, and pulling the elbow backward may reproduce the symptoms.

What Are The Risk Factors And Developments Of Ulnar Palsy Or Ulnar Nerve Damage?

Specific individuals in occupations have higher predispositions to the development of ulnar nerve palsy or damage; we have listed some for you here:

  • Musicians and cooks who Bender twist the elbows or wrists frequently or for prolonged periods
  • Baseballers and cricket players
  • Alcoholism, diabetes & arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sleeping with the hand and wrist tucked under the chin
  • Wrist or elbow abnormalities

Are Steroid Injections Good?

Traditionally, steroid injections (corticosteroids) were popular non-surgical treatments given by hand and wrist specialists for claw hand or ulnar nerve damage patients. However, this mode of treatment has fallen out of favor in light of new research published and the world-famous Journal of Radiology. A peer-reviewed published study in the journal of Radiology reported severe and irreversible damage resulting from corticosteroid injections to joints, muscles, and ligaments. As a result, the authors of this published study cautioned doctors and patients about steroid injections as a means of therapy or pain management.

What Is The Best Non-Surgical Treatment For Ulnar Nerve Damage?

The best and most effective method of treating ulnar nerve palsy or damage is rectifying or repairing the damaged tissue near the elbow, in the forearm, or at the wrist. Ulnar nerve damage results from injury or degeneration of soft tissues near the nerve at the elbow, forearm, or wrist. The best course of action is a thorough assessment starting from the neck to the fingers—this assessment aims to find damaged or offending tissues that have irritated the ulnar nerve. Once the damaged tissue is identified, appropriate physiotherapy procedures combined with chiropractic manipulations of joints and bones will help.

The focus of non-invasive therapy is to improve soft tissue health and stability through chiropractic, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation. Physiotherapy modalities such as shockwave therapy and high-intensity laser therapy can help break down and repair adhesions that may compress the nerve and limit its flexibility. Gentle neural stretching can be performed within a patient’s pain tolerance to decrease the tension. 

Manual therapy for the tight muscles in the forearm or the hand is required to relax the muscles. If the symptoms persist, nerve conduction studies may be needed. In addition to physiotherapy, there should also be chiropractic treatments to realign the fixated and misaligned ulna bone, elbow, or wrist joint. The combination or integration of chiropractic and physiotherapy provides a much better outcome than other care forms.

Best Non-Invasive Ulnar Nerve Treatment Center In Kuala Lumpur

Chiropractic Specialty Center® has an expert team of physiotherapists in top-rated chiropractors in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our non-surgical experts have the experience, knowledge, and advanced therapeutic devices that helps repair hand reverse damage to soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our chiropractic center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for more information or inquiries about ulnar nerve entrapment, compression, ulnar palsy, or ulnar nerve damage on 03-2093 1000.

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