The cubital tunnel is located in the elbow and is a 4-millimeter passageway between the bones and tissue.

It encases the ulnar nerve, one of the nerves that supplies feeling and movement to the arm and hand. The ulnar nerve runs from the neck to the shoulder, down the back of the arm, around the inside of the elbow and ends at the hand in the fourth and fifth fingers. Due to the narrow opening of the cubital tunnel, it can be easily injured or compressed through repetitive activities or trauma.

It can cause symptoms in the arm and hand including pain, numbness, and muscle weakness, particularly in the areas controlled by the ulnar nerve like the ring and pinky finger.

Causes of compression include daily habits like leaning on your elbows for long periods of time, sleeping with your arms bent, or repetitive movement of the arm. Direct trauma to the inside of the elbow, like when you hit your funny bone, can also cause symptoms of ulnar nerve pain.

Conservative treatments to reduce pain include use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, heat and ice, bracing and splinting, and other physical therapy modalities like ultrasound and electrical stimulation.

I use acupuncture to reducing the pain and numbness.

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