THE AWFUL PAIN OF A TRAPPED/PINCHED #NERVE…

A trapped/pinched #nerve pain in any area of your body can literally stop you in your tracks. A pinched #nerve refers to a certain kind of damage to a #nerve or group of nerves. It’s caused when a disc, bone, or muscle places increased pressure on the #nerve.

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
  • Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve.
  • Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward.
  • Tingling, pins and needles sensations (paresthesia)
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area.
  • Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”

A pinched #nerve can occur at a number of sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched #nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome).

They say that with rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched #nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched #nerve.

Last year I was diagnosed with a trapped ulnar nerve. The ulnar #nerve is one of the three main nerves in your arm. … The most common place for compression of the #nerve is behind the inside part of the elbow. Ulnar #nerve compression at the elbow is called “cubital tunnel syndrome.” Numbness and tingling in the hand and fingers are common symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome.

After months of conservative treatment, I was told I needed surgery. Ulnar #nerve decompression is a surgical procedure designed to explore the region around the elbow through which the ulnar nerve passes. The ulnar nerve is responsible for the “funny bone” phenomenon when you hit your elbow. The surgery involves a 3-4 inch incision which is made along the elbow in between the two bony prominences that are on the same side of the arm as the thumb. The incision is taken deep enough to be able to visualize the ulnar #nerve. The #nerve is then explored into the upper arm to the point that is passes through the triceps muscle. It is explored in the forearm until it passes through a muscle in the forearm. Once the entire nerve has been explored through this region and is seen to be well decompressed, the overlying connective tissue and skin are closed with stitches.

Quite soon after the surgery, I was completely pain-free with no more pins and needles in my hand or pain in the arm or grip problems. As far as I was concerned the surgery was a complete success.  Fast forward 11 months on and the problem started again only this time the pain started in my neck and went along my shoulders, down the inside of the top of my arm and into my elbow with pins and needles in my pinky and ring fingers. Gripping has now become absolute so anything that needs opening I need help with. Simple tasks like cleaning my teeth, blow drying my hair and even spraying perfume give me awful pain in my elbow.

It came back suddenly while on holiday and I initially thought that maybe I had just aggravated something while swimming but from May onwards it has just got progressively worse and worse. I have now seen a physiotherapist who has done a thorough neurological check and checked over my nerves and feels it is definitely a trapped ulnar #nerve but what we do not know is where it is trapped.

The physiotherapist has booked me in for some #nerve conduction tests which I had last year which will confirm if its this particular #nerve that is trapped and then she wants to follow up with an MRI of my cervical spine to see if it is trapped from there. The ulnar #nerve arises from the medial cord of the brachial plexus with predominant contribution from the C8-T1 nerve roots so it could start with a problem in my neck. They say that Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common peripheral #nerve compression syndrome of the upper extremity following carpal tunnel syndrome.

For me now it’s a waiting game which I must admit is proving to be a painful one. I can now only work on my laptop for short intervals which I am finding really frustrating as my life revolves around my blog writing and access to the internet. I have looked at how I could maybe talk into the computer to write the posts but it’s quite a bit harder than typing as you have to know exactly what you want to say when you speak. I am hoping surgery will not be an option this time but at the moment cannot see how they can get rid of this debilitating pain.

 

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2 thoughts on “THE AWFUL PAIN OF A TRAPPED/PINCHED #NERVE…

  1. Sounds similar to what I have been dealing with for the last year+. Nerve conduction studies were normal. My pain starts in the shoulder and radiates down the arm to my hand goes numb. And it’s my writing/mouse hand as well. I just finished 6 weeks of PT and had a second cortisone injection Friday because the pain came back at week 7. 😦 I am hoping for non-surgical outcome because I have already had a disc fused in my neck and have weakness above and below that. Hoping for the best for you!! ❤

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  2. That does sound the same as me and I cannot believe it’s come back so quickly after surgery last year. I am hoping they will offer injections initially especially with it coming back so quickly after the last surgery. I have also had two previous neck fusions which I don’t think help the discs underneath the fusion. I will just have to wait until all the tests are done first. 🙂

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