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When you hear the term “tunnel syndrome”, you may automatically think of carpal tunnel syndrome since it has become such a common condition. There are also other tunnel syndromes that we will explain below. All of these conditions are caused by pressure that is placed on the nerves in the hand, wrist, and arm.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (also known as “Ulnar Neuropathy”) is numbness and pain in the elbows and fingers that is caused primarily by pressure repeatedly being placed on the ulnar nerve, which is located near the “funny bone” part of the elbow. This can be caused by repeatedly leaning on the elbow or by repetitive use that is taxing on this area of the arm, like pitching in baseball.
Radial Tunnel Syndrome Is caused by increased pressure on the radial nerve. This nerve runs through the elbow and the forearm. Common symptoms include pain in the forearm and the back of the hand. This pain often appears when the person goes to straighten out the wrist and the fingers.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs through the carpal tunnel and controls the thumb and all of the fingers (with the exception of the pinky). With the rise of computers and typing for both more work and pleasure, carpal tunnel has become more common. Repetitive use of the wrist, especially in actions when your hand is lower than your wrist, is the most common cause, with hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis also being possible causes.
Peripheral Neuropathy is tingling, numbness, and pain that can occur in the hands and feet, due to damage to the peripheral nerves. This damage can be caused by traumatic injuries, infections, metabolic conditions, alcoholism, and more. A gradual onset of numbness, stabbing pain, sensitivity to touch, and muscle weakness are all possible symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy.