Most people have heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist and hand condition that causes tingling, numbness, and pain from nerve compression in the wrist and fingers. Still, there is also has a lesser-known condition, ulnar tunnel syndrome, which can have similar symptoms. Ulnar tunnel syndrome is when the ulnar nerve is compressed as it enters the wrist between two bones of the wrist. Compression of the ulnar nerve can also occur at the elbow and cause the same symptoms. Most people have probably experienced the not-so-funny occurrence of when the “funny bone” is bumped. In reality, this is when the ulnar nerve is quickly compressed on the humerus bone, and if you’ve had this happen, you may experience shooting pain, tingling, and numbness.
The past eight months in my new role as a father-to-be has challenged my organizational, physical and power tool skills in order to prepare our home for the new baby’s arrival. During the week, I work 40+ hours as a hand/occupational therapist treating and rehabilitating patients’ upper extremity conditions. On the weekends, endless home improvement projects have left my hands, wrists, and elbows feeling more sore, inflamed and tighter than ever before. My own recent upper extremity symptoms have led me to practice everything that I preach in the clinic.