Navigation Links
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Date:6/2/2009

Cubital tunnel syndrome results from prolonged flexing of the elbow, experts say

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- First came Nintendo thumb. Then, Guitar Hero wrist. Now, for the latest affliction of the wired age, it's cell phone elbow.

Medically known as cubital tunnel syndrome, cell phone elbow is numbness, tingling and pain in the forearm and hand caused by compression of the ulnar nerve, which passes along the bony bump on the inside of the elbow.

One of the causes of pressure on the ulnar nerve? Too much gabbing, often brought on by those cell phone plans with unlimited minutes, experts say.

Prolonged flexing of the elbow, such as when you hold a cell phone to your ear while closing sales, talking to your mother or keeping tabs on your teens while you're at work, puts tension on the ulnar nerve. In susceptible people, holding the bent-elbow position for extended periods can lead to decreased blood flow, inflammation and compression of the nerve.

"Repetitive, sustained stretching of the nerve is like stepping on a garden hose," said Dr. Peter J. Evans, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Hand and Upper Extremity Center. "With the hose, you're blocking the flow of water. With the elbow, you're blocking the blood flow to the nerve, which causes it to misfire and short circuit."

The first symptoms patients often notice include numbness, tingling or aching in the forearm and hand, a pain similar to hitting your "funny bone." (The unpleasant sensation of hitting your "funny bone" is actually your ulnar nerve.)

As symptoms progress, they can include a loss of muscle strength, coordination and mobility that can make writing and typing difficult. In chronic, untreated cases, the ring finger and pinky can become clawed, Evans and colleagues note in a report in the May issue of the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

Though there are no solid figures on how many people have cell phone elbow, hand specialists say the incidence is increasing along with the 3.3 billion cell phone service contracts active worldwide, Evans said.

Still, the disorder is less common than carpal tunnel syndrome, a related condition that causes pain in the hand and wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve that runs from the forearm into the hand.

"Cubital tunnel is the second most common compression syndrome we see," said Heather Turkopp, an occupational therapist and certified hand specialist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich.

Most people who get cubital tunnel syndrome are middle-aged or older. Women get cubital tunnel syndrome more often than men -- and it's probably not because they talk more.

Although the precise reasons are unknown, women may be more susceptible due to hormonal fluctuations or their anatomy, Evans said.

And too much yakking isn't the only cause of cubital tunnel syndrome. Other causes may include sleeping with the elbows bent and tucked up into the chest, sitting at a desk with the elbows flexed at an angle greater than 90 degrees and driving with your elbow propped on the window for extended periods, he said.

In most cases, minor lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms, including using a hands-free headset for your cell phone. If sleep position is the problem, an elbow pad to keep the arm straighter at night can help.

More serious cases are referred to an occupational therapist, who may use ultrasound to loosen scar tissue that can form around the nerve as a result of the inflammation, as well as stretching, deep massage and "nerve-gliding" exercises to reduce pressure on the nerve, Turkopp said.

Doctors may also use anti-inflammatory injections or surgery.

Seeing your doctor soon if you're experiencing any numbness or tingling in your hand or forearm can prevent the problem from progressing to that point, Evans said.

More information

The University of Virginia has more on cubital tunnel syndrome.



SOURCES: Peter J. Evans, M.D., Ph.D., director, Hand and Upper Extremity Center, Cleveland Clinic; Heather Turkopp, OTR, CHS, occupational therapist, certified hand specialist, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.; May 2009, Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. U-M researchers link pathway to breast cancer stem cells
2. Most common brain cancer may originate in neural stem cells
3. BD Biosciences Launches New Cell Analyzer for Complex Multicolor Experiments in Disease and Drug Development Research
4. Bayer and Onyx Initiate Phase 3 Trial of Nexavar in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
5. Study shows drug combination improves outcome for advanced non-small cell lung cancer
6. ALIMTA(R) (pemetrexed for injection) Receives Positive Opinion From CHMP as Maintenance Therapy for Nonsquamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
7. StemCyte, Inc. Reaches 1,000th Cord Blood Stem Cell Shipment for Transplant Milestone
8. Cancer cells need normal, nonmutated genes to survive
9. The vulnerable cancer cell
10. Cardium Presents Gene Activated Matrix Technology and Update on Excellarate Clinical Development Program at ASGT Annual Meeting
11. Immunologists identify biochemical signals that help immune cells remember how to fight infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm ... that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd ... school is in a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, ... in 2016 . The list consists of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory ... , An Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as an ASC, is a modern ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in their ... skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists is ... to their Miami dental office. Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer the ... Specialists are the first office to be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, Straumann, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Land, TX (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... families of southwest Houston and surrounding communities by continuing it’s commitment to act ... Bend Family Promise. The organization works closely with area homeless families to fulfill ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... Feb. 12, 2016 Hypermarcas S.A. ("Hypermarcas") ... tender offer (the "Tender Offer") to purchase any ... principal amount of its 6.500% Senior Notes due ... US44915JAA88/ USP5246AAF05) (the "Notes"). In connection with the ... Solicitation") consents (the "Consents") of the holders of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... FRAMINGHAM, Mass. , Feb. 12, 2016   ... scheduled a conference call and webcast to discuss its ... December 31, 2015, on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at ... financial results prior to the conference call and webcast.  ... the company,s financial results, highlights from the fourth quarter ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016 On Thursday, ... Robotic Surgery at St. David,s North Austin Medical Center ... Vinci ® Xi ® Surgical System with ... 7000dV. Thiru Lakshman , M.D., colorectal surgeon ... total proctocolectomy utilizing Integrated Table Motion technology, which seamlessly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: