cubital tunnel syndromeEvery time you place significant pressure on your hands and remain in the same position for a long time, you will likely experience numbness and a tingling sensation. The pins and needles you’re feeling originate from your pinky and part of your ring finger, leading you to conclude that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

However, that isn’t always the case when something wrong happens to your hand or wrist. Carpal tunnel is a kind of situation that involves the nerves—but it can be contributed to other issues too!

If the uncomfortable feeling of triggering your “funny bone” is still there after a while, you’re likely experiencing the compression of your ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve moves along a tight tunnel known as the cubital tunnel through your elbow. When you hit your ulnar nerve by accident and feel a sharp and painful sensation in your elbow, it could lead to a cubital tunnel syndrome. 

Keep reading below to find out what it is, why it happens, and what to do to prevent it from getting worse.

Understanding Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

A cubital tunnel syndrome occurs each time you constrict or irritate your ulnar nerve, preventing it from functioning properly and sending signals from your hand to your brain. In fact, the ulnar nerve works by giving sensation to a portion of your ring finger and pinky finger.

Anyone facing cubital tunnel syndrome is bound to have a challenging time carrying and holding items using the affected hand. When you fail to receive cubital tunnel syndrome treatment, it could worsen over time and result in irreparable muscle wasting and long-term ulnar nerve compression.

How Does Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Occur?

It sounds unusual that the affected nerves found in your elbow are causing the symptoms leading your hand to go numb. However, you must understand that the ulnar nerve moves through your elbow and heads towards your little finger and ring finger.

A primary reason for acquiring cubital tunnel syndrome, which requires a hand specialist’s assistance, is positioning your elbow at a ninety-degree bend for an extended duration. When you lean on your elbow for a long time, your ulnar nerve compresses and becomes irritated.

Cubital tunnel syndrome usually happens on people working behind office desks that tend to place their head on one hand as they use their computer for several hours. Other reasons for experiencing the same syndrome involve having elbow fractures, dislocated joints, bone swelling, and diabetes.

How to Prevent Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

If you discover you have cubital tunnel syndrome during its early stage, it’s crucial to seek a hand doctor’s guidance immediately to prevent it from becoming worse. Seeking treatment keeps you from requiring invasive procedures or surgery.

Besides avoiding the habit of resting on your bent elbow, you could consider putting on an elbow splint when you’re sleeping to keep yourself from bending your elbow unconsciously. You could also go out of your way to catch yourself each time you relax your elbow on armrests and surfaces and utilize earphones every time you accept calls.


Cubital tunnel syndrome usually occurs when people spend a significant amount of time bending their elbows in one position and leaning on it for hours on end. When you’ve exhausted all your means of attending to your cubital tunnel syndrome, including taking over-the-counter drugs to minimize the nerve inflammation, only then will you require surgery. If nonsurgical solutions don’t work on your case anymore, you will need to consult with a hand surgeon to determine the next step to take to cure your issue. 

Are you looking for an orthopedic hand specialist in Jacksonville, FL, to look into your situation? North Florida Hand and Wrist is a center run by expert doctors and surgeons specializing in hand and wrist cases. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment!