Is Tennis Elbow to Blame for Your Finger and Hand Numbness
Many tennis elbow sufferers report pain and tenderness on the outside of their elbow but there are some cases where they also describe frequent and intense spurts of finger and hand numbness. Why is it that some tennis elbow sufferers have numbness in their hands and fingers while others do not?
In order to fully understand why this is the case, we must first learn the root cause of hand and finger numbness. There can be many different causes of finger and hand numbness but the most common condition can be traced to a pinched nerve. There is good chance that you may have pinched your ulnar nerve. This condition is known as ulnar nerve entrapment.
The ulnar nerve runs down your arm, across the inside of your elbow and then spreads out into your hand and fingers. It is responsible for the sensations we feel in our ring and little fingers and controls many of the small muscles in our hands.
Ulnar nerve entrapment occurs when you receive a sharp blow to your elbow, an elbow fracture/dislocation and we sometimes refer to this as hitting our “funny bone”. When this occurs, the ulnar nerve becomes swollen and gets trapped and pinched at the site of the fracture, dislocation or strike. As a result, your hand or fingers may become numb for short periods of time.
When you have an injury such as tennis elbow or your elbow hurts when bent, the repeated bending of the elbow and performing repetitive tasks on a daily basis that requires a tight grip on an object combined with excessive wrist and elbow rotation causes the ulnar nerve to stretch and pinch up against your ulnar(arm) bone.
As this nerve stays pinched, messages that are sent from the brain are unable to reach your hand and fingers. As a result, simple tasks such as turning a doorknob, gripping a coffee mug or even shaking someone’s hand becomes difficult, challenging and painful. You will also find that you are constantly fumbling and dropping things.
Now not all tennis elbow sufferers will have finger and hand numbness. The majority of tennis elbow injury sufferers will experience these types of symptoms:
- difficulty extending their arms fully
- swelling and inflammation at your elbow(measure around both elbows to check)
- arm and elbow stiffness, especially in the morning
- elbow pain that gets worse when you perform simple twisting or turning activities such as turning a screwdriver or opening a jar
- burning sensations, tenderness and pain that is localized on the outside of the elbow
- pain that sometimes shoots down the arm and into the wrist and hand
- you notice your grip getting weaker and your constantly dropping or fumbling with items
If you can relate to any of the above symptoms, then there is a good chance that you are indeed suffering from tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a condition that if left untreated, gets significantly worse and more painful over time. Your condition and injury may get so bad that you may become totally dependent on others for help and lose your independence altogether.
But the good news is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on doctors or physical therapy appointments that will only take away your money and not your pain. All it really takes is 5 simple, step-by-step techniques that anyone can do from the comfort of your own living room while watching their favorite television show in order to completely cure and recover from tennis elbow.