Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is an ulner nerve compression in the upper extremity inside the cubital tunnel. This tunnel is located in the area of the elbow where the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris are separated, and is often referred to as "tennis elbow".
This problem might be caused by prolonged compression of the elbow (leaning with weight on elbow), nerve compression, bone spurs, or, most likely, trauma to a muscle around the elbow.
Symptoms may include pain, burning, numbness, tingling or weakness in the hand. You may also have a hard time grasping and holding on to objects.
Massage helps to relieve the pain through nerve mobilization, because the main cause of this problem is often muscular, stemming from the muscles around the elbow, forearm and wrist.
What to expect
Light massage will be done at first, followed by Deep Tissue Massage to help loosen the compression of the ulnar nerve.
The therapist may do bending exercises with your arm to facilitate release of muscles. He/She will also recommend using an ice pack or cold stone massage on the elbow to help with inflammation.
Usually, a 1/2 hour massage will allow the therapist time to work the muscles of the elbow and the arm to encourage release of the nerve, however, 2-3 sessions may be required at a cost of $30-$40 per session.
The therapist may discuss and/or show you some exercises and stretching techniques that you can do at home.
Make sure your therapist is trained in Sports Massage, Orthopedic Massage and/or Nerve Entrapment techniques in order to properly promote decompression of the nerve and relaxation of the muscles around the nerve. This also ensures no further damage will be done.
This DVD, Nerve Mobilization teaches massage therapy techniques for clients with elbow pain, as well as many other medical conditions. It discusses safety precautions and treatment goals for all different types of medical problems and helps you understand this specific syndrome better.
Read more about exercises for this syndrome at http://www.eatonhand.com/hw/hw007.htm
This syndrome can be extremely painful, and can take several weeks or months to heal. Your doctor may even consider surgery to correct the problem.
Massage therapy techniques to release the impingement of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome may be painful as well, but nerve mobilization is certainly worth a try, and healing is much faster than surgery!