If you’ve never heard of Radial Nerve Entrapment we aren’t surprised, and neither should you be. Radial Nerve Entrapment is extremely uncommon diagnosis and one that goes unnoticed and untreated because it is a rare ailment. It is important, however, to understand that when this ailment is diagnosed correctly getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment is a real possibility. Obviously, before we can begin explaining how getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment is a possibility for you, we’d like to define what it is, what may cause it and what you should do once you are diagnosed with this injury.
What is Radial Nerve Entrapment?
What is the Radial Nerve? The radial nerve runs down the underside of your arm and controls movement of the triceps muscle, which is located at the back of the upper arm. The radial nerve is responsible for extending the wrist and fingers. It also controls sensation in part of the hand. Compression or entrapment can occur at any location within the course of the nerve distribution, but the most frequent location of entrapment occurs in the proximal forearm. This most common location is typically in proximity to the supinator and often will involve the posterior interosseous branch. The radial nerve arises and provides a motor function to the extensors of the forearm, wrist, and fingers. The superficial radial nerve provides a sensory function to the posterior forearm. Depending on the location of entrapment a patient may experience pain, numbness, weakness, and overall dysfunction or any combination of these.
What are the Causes of Radial Nerve Entrapment?
The symptoms for Radial Nerve Entrapment vary and are often slow in developing. Some of these symptoms may take a while to present themselves thus the reason for a diagnosis to not be determined early on. Wrist flexion, ulnar deviation, and pronation place strain on the nerve and will often reproduce or exacerbate symptoms. Resisted extension of the middle finger with the elbow extended is another sign of nerve entrapment. Other causes can be:
- fracturing your humerus, a bone in the upper arm
- sleeping with your upper arm in an awkward position
- pressure from leaning your arm over the back of a chair
- using crutches improperly
- falling on or receiving a blow to your arm
- long-term constriction of your wrist
Certain actions, when repeated often enough, can lead to radial nerve damage. Movements that involve both grasping and swinging movements, such as swinging a baseball bat or a hammer, can lead to nerve damage over time. As the radial nerve moves back and forth over the bones of your wrist and forearm, there’s potential for the nerve to become trapped, pinched, or strained from these activities.
Getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment
Now that you know what Radial Nerve Entrapment is and what may have caused it, let’s explain how getting help with radial nerve entrapment is administered. The first thing we’ll do is a physical exam followed by a look at the affected arm, hand, and wrist, and compare it to your healthy arm, hand, and wrist. We may ask you to extend and rotate your arm to see if the injury affects your range of motion. We will also ask you to extend your wrist and fingers, checking for any weakness or loss of muscle tone. Treating your injury will include a time of rest from offending activity such as limiting repetitive pronation, supination, wrist flexion, and ulnar deviation. Other ways we’ll look to treat your Radial Nerve Entrapment might be to administer nerve glide exercises. Nerve glide exercises aim to restore mobilization of your peripheral nerves. An ultrasound is another way of getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment. This is a way to magnify the affected areas to help us free up the compressed portion of the nerve. Medication and steroids can be administered to relieve inflammation on the nerve. Surgery is the last result if all conservative measures have been exhausted resulting in no help after six months to a year.
Moving forward with your Radial Nerve Entrapment Pain
Getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment is out there and we at Pain and Performance Solutions would like to help. It helps knowing exactly what Radial Nerve Entrapment is because it is an uncommon diagnosis. The symptoms and causes can present themselves to be other things, so setting up a physical examination with us is the only way to get to the bottom of your pain. Getting help with Radial Nerve Entrapment will take time, so limiting your movements in your affected area is what we’ll ask you to do first and we’ll determine the treatments there-after. There’s no need to struggle through this pain any longer. Contact us immediately so we can help you get your body back to its natural way of moving.