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What is cubital tunnel syndrome?

Most people are familiar with carpal tunnel syndrome. It's a repetitive strain injury suffered by workers whose jobs involve spending many hours each day on the computer or engaging in other types of repetitive motions. However, a lesser-known RSI is called cubital tunnel syndrome. It occurs farther up in arm, around the elbow joint. However, it can affect the hand, fingers, wrist and arm and a person's ability to use them.

Cubital tunnel syndrome, like carpal tunnel syndrome, can be caused by the motions involved in typing on a computer and using a mouse. However, it is often caused by tasks that involve grasping hand or power tools that are an integral part of many people's jobs.

With cubital tunnel syndrome, the ulner nerve is impinged on by the flexor muscles or because the elbow joint has shifted. This nerve mediates the movement of muscles in the hand and forearm. People with this injury may experience a decrease in the ability to grip objects, pain, numbness and tingling in the outer fingers.

If the condition is recognized and treated early, it doesn't have to become debilitating. Stretching and strengthening exercises are recognized as conservative treatments. Cortisone treatments and surgery are more aggressive options, but haven't been shown to have positive long-term results.

An injury like cubital tunnel syndrome can impact people's ability to do their job for a time. It's important to find out what your workers' compensation options are so that you don't have to lose wages while you heal and to cover your medical treatment, physical therapy and other expenses associated with the injury. It's also essential to work with your employer in Georgia to find out what changes you can make at work to help prevent the problem from recurring.

Source: Balance Systems, Inc, "Treat the "Cause" Not the Symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome," accessed Feb. 16, 2016

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