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Inflamed Ulnar nerve.

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I have started to have dull persistent pain in my right lower forearm for a few hours now. I have had no recent injuries. The pain doesnt seem to be going away and even occasionally radiates up or down my arm. Mostly feeling it on the underside/ inside of my arm like my arm is being squeezed. should I be worried?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 22 Doctors Online

Hello and thankyou for approaching DoctorSpring with your query.
I have gone through your case and understand your concern.
Your pain is likely to be due to a pinched or inflammed nerve or due to inflammation of a tendon in your hand and is nothing to worry.
Please can you give me a few details so that I can give you an informed opinion.
1) Are you having any tingling sensation or numbness in especially in your thumb and index fingers or middle and ring fingers but not in your little finger?
2) Do you feel your symptoms worsen after a particular movement or activity?
3) Do you feel any redness at any joint or swelling or raised temperature?
4) Any sense of weakness in your right hand like your grip is not as strong as before?
5) Do you put a lot of pressure on your right wrist at work or during the day where your wrist has to continuously bend or are you into any sport on a frequent basis?
6) Do you feel the pain radiate from from your wrist upto your arm or fingers or from your elbows ?

Please reply as a follow up and I will guide you accordingly.

Patient replied :

Hi thank you for replying.
1)I do not have any tingling or numbness.
2)Due to discomfort last night I found that if I lay my arm flat and very still the pain reduced significantly but as soon as I move it in any way the dull ache slowly comes back but its not a specific movement that does this.
4)A little weakness.
5)I am a nanny so I pick up young kids a lot but no more than normal.No sports.
6)The pain seems to be aching and pulsating from the top part of my forearm down slowly into my pinky finger but not from my elbow. it starts from just below it.

Hello and thankyou for your reply.
From what you have described you are likely to be having these symptoms due to the ulnar nerve being compressed or irritated at the elbow.
This tends to occur due to repeated pressure put on the elbow, like bending the elbow and keeping it on the table or due to activity that requires repeated flexing (flexing) of the elbow.
In your case it is likely to be due, to having to pick the kids often which causes you to bend your elbow for long periods of time.

I would advise you to do the following.
1) You can take the OTC tablet Ibuprofen 400 after a meal twice a day for 3 days.
2) Avoid activities that require you to bend your elbow for long periods. Try and carry the kids with your left hand.
3) Avoid leaning on your elbow or putting any pressure on the inside of your arm. Eg do not rest your arm on an open window while driving and avoid resting your elbow on the table.
4) When you use the computer make sure the chair is not too low
5) Keep your elbow straight at night during your sleep. Wrap a towel round your hand (forearm and arm) keeping your elbow straight. Use it like a brace to keep your elbow straight in your sleep.
6) Try and keep your elbow straight as much as possible.

The above should help relieve your symptoms. However if your symptoms persist for a long time over 3 weeks or worsen you will require to get an MRI and Electrodiagnosis done.

As of now you need to worry, the pain will subside with the above mentioned precautions that you need to follow.
I hope this has helped.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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