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crazyandbeautiful's avatar

Elbow pain. Anyone else have this?

Asked by crazyandbeautiful (551points) November 5th, 2015

I have been suffering from elbow pain or as the doctor I saw in September put in “ulna nerve syndrome.” It makes it hard to sleep, hard to reach things, and even hold things from time to time. I can go the entire day feeling good. Then bed time comes and pain comes. Any suggestions on how to sleep at night with this pain?
Doctor suggested a splint. Have not received the script.

Is there a website to go and purchase one? Is it worth it? Or am I wasting my time?

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I had that for a while; decided not to wear the brace. Took ibuprofen and it went away after a month or two.Oh, and some arm flexing movements (exercise).

Your mileage may vary, but it my case time healed it.

Stinley's avatar

I found this on a UK NHS Site. the general philopsophy of the NHS is to treat simply first then try more advanced treatments if they don’t work.

So try ibuprofen and rest, a splint at night, physiotherapy. Then if all these don’t help, surgery.

JLeslie's avatar

I know nothing about it, but I wonder if your sleep position is aggravating it? Does the pain come on once you’re lying down? If so, look at your pillow position, it should not be under your shoulders, it should only be under your head and neck. Maybe a thinner or fatter pillow will help.

Do you sleep on the bad elbow side?

Ibuprofen and letting the elbow rest as much as possible for several weeks makes sense to me too. Avoid lifting heaving things or reaching and pulling. Be careful when taking laundry out of the washer.

Also, next time at the doctor consider checking your vitamin D and B12. It’s a simple blood test. Possibly your doctor did?

Lastly, spray the area with magnesium spray three times a week for a couple of weeks Don’t overdo it, magnesium absorbs well, and there is a such thing as too much. The spray is about $12 a bottle. Sometimes it’s a little tingly uncomfortable when it first hits the skin. Very minor. Some people have no reaction. If you knew me, you would know I tend to be negative about “natural” remedies and miracle sprays and lotions, but I do feel the magnesium really helps.

canidmajor's avatar

I alleviated an ulnar nerve problem with yoga. Basic beginner stuff, focusing on the stretching of neck and arms helped dramatically. X-Rays showed that the nerve was being slightly rubbed by the cervical vertebrae, so the stretching re-aligned the vertebrae a bit and took the pressure off.

This was suggested by my physician as an alternative to more medical or invasive procedures.

Cupcake's avatar

I’m a big fan of magnesium, if you might be deficient or have inflammation. Good call, @JLeslie. I take Pure Encapsulations brand capsules, which is a well regarded brand for supplements.

Speaking of inflammation, think about your diet. I had back pain for decades before I found out that I have gluten intolerance that gives me a band of pain around my lower abdomen and back. Since cutting out gluten and dairy (not suggesting that those are your triggers… just my story), I have gotten rid of my “arthritis”, “runners knee” pain, wrist pain (for which I saw an orthopedic specialist who gave me an injection for some syndrome I probably never had) and lower back pain, all of which were daily struggles.

ibstubro's avatar

I was having problems with my ulna nerves for a while. Weeks or months. It hurt to open my arms, rather than close them. It was particularly worse in my right arm, and getting to the point that I couldn’t trust it.

Ultimately I realized I was sleeping with my hands pressed between my thighs, putting unnatural pressure on my elbows. I stopped sleeping that way and I’m free of symptoms today. This may or may not be a help to you, but, like others above, I urge you to look at your sleep patterns closely before starting any formal treatment.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

I went to orthopedic doctor in September. I do not have any injury to my elbow. They only thing I may do from time to time is sleep with my arms straight out. I am a restless sleeper. I have no idea why my funny bone hurts at night. The doctor sent a script. I may look into it next week.

It’s weird…I have no pain at all. I can do so much. Yet when the clocks hits 9–10pm. Grab the bengay and start rubbing it in. Ugh that smell drives me mad. But then again it helps me make it through the night.

JLeslie's avatar

Are you doing a lot all day? Lots of physical work with your hands and arms? If so, I’d suggest spending a few days restricting yourself to very little lifting and see if that keeps the pain away. It will give you some information. If it helps you might try really resting the arm for a solid 2–3 weeks and taking some ibuprofen. It might be enough to fix any inflammation that is getting triggered. Plus, still get the vitamin D test.

si3tech's avatar

I was prescribed a splint for elbow pain for “tennis elbow”. I picked it up and wore for a few weeks or so and it absolutely relieved my elbow pain. (I have never played tennis) It may be worth your while to pick up the splint. I was so glad I did. Just saying, this is my experience.

si3tech's avatar

Let us know what you do and if it helps.I wish you lick and pain relief.

crazyandbeautiful's avatar

I ended up getting a splint a week after this question was asked. I was so busy with getting adjusted to it….it was crazy. I wear it to bed every night like the doctor has said. Pain is still there. I may be wearing this thing til I am 70. Hopefully not. But I am alive, and taking it day by day. Thanks for your help.


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