Skip to content

    Pinched Nerve In or Near the Elbow

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    A pinched nerve (nerve entrapment) in or near the elbow can cause elbow pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness of the arm, wrist, or hand. The nerve that most commonly gets pinched in or near the elbow is the ulnar nerve. It is located in the elbow area, on the little finger side when the palm is facing up. Less often, the median or the posterior interosseous nerve, a branch of the radial nerve next to the elbow area on the thumb side when the palm is facing up, may get pinched.

    Examples of nerve entrapment syndromes that affect the elbow include:

    • Cubital tunnel syndrome , which involves the ulnar nerve. Repeated injury to the elbow can cause scar tissue to form over the ulnar nerve as it passes through the groove in the middle of the elbow. The scar tissue pinches the nerve, causing elbow pain and numbness and tingling that can occur down into the ring and little fingers along with a loss of strength in the fingers. This syndrome is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist.
    • Pronator teres syndrome, which involves the median nerve as it passes beneath the muscles in the forearm at the elbow. The forearm tends to ache, and pain spreads down the forearm toward the wrist, hand, and thumb area.
    • Posterior interosseous nerve syndrome, which involves compression of a branch of the radial nerve. Posterior interosseous nerve syndrome does not involve a loss of sensation, such as numbness or tingling, but may cause weakness of the wrist and fingers. This syndrome may be misdiagnosed as tennis elbow because pain is felt on the outside (lateral) part of the elbow in both of these conditions.

    Treatment for these nerve entrapment syndromes includes rest, stretching, taking anti-inflammatory medicines, and occasionally surgery.

    1

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Pinched Nerve In or Near the Elbow Topics

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.