Lateral Edge (Ulnar Nerve)
Ever have the lateral edge of your hand go numb and/or tingle? Is it happening more easily and more often? The numbness and tingling could be caused by physical and/or metabolic factors. Physically, when patients complain of numbness and tingling along the lateral edge of their hand, we suspect compression/entrapment of the ulnar nerve. When the ulnar nerve becomes entrapped common symptoms can include pain, numbness, or tingling in the ring and pinky fingers, as well as the lateral edge of the hand. It is most commonly seen in cyclists who are keeping their elbows in constant flexion and in drivers while resting their arm on an open window.
If the numbness or tingling begins to happen more often, however, then the entrapment is becoming chronic and we want to look deeper. Your ulnar nerve can become entrapped in four common locations, resulting in lateral hand numbness and tingling:
(1) Wrist – at the tunnel of Guyon located on the inside edge your wrist.
(2) Elbow – on the inside of the elbow, between two parts of a muscle called the flexor carpi ulnaris, otherwise known as the cubital tunnel. When you hit your “funny bone,” you’re actually hitting your ulnar nerve at this spot.
(3) Collar Bone – at the area just above your clavicle where neck muscles can become tight and your first rib can elevate to entrap the median nerve.
(4) Spine – at C8/T1 where your neck and upper back meet.
(5) Metabolic factors that we rule out with our patients include dysregulation in blood sugar, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies, toxin buildup and more.
All of these issues can be assessed and treated by our multidisciplinary team through a thorough physical exam, blood work and effective, natural treatments. Treatments can include Chiropractic adjustments, nerve flossing, muscle release, stretches, natural supplements and more.
If numbness and tingling on the lateral edge of your hand is increasing in frequency without a clear cause, then we recommend an assessment as soon as possible. Reach out and schedule an appointment today at 214-972-0302!
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