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Susan Ivy
Susan Ivy, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4058
Experience:  BSN, MSN, CNS
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I bumped my elbow yesterday, and it has been sore to the touch

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I bumped my elbow yesterday, and it has been sore to the touch since, but I had full function with no pain. Then suddenly today, everything was fine, I had my arm resting on the arm rest in my vehicle for just a few minutes. I went to move it from that position and felt a very intense pain. It is still sore to the touch, and it will give me a shooting pain when moved to some positions. it also seems to do it in different positions at different times maybe related to forearm rotation. also the speed of the movement seems to have something to do with the pain. My pain free movement is limited to the point that removing a shirt is a bit difficult.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Susan Ivy replied 4 years ago.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer Health for your concern.


You have bumped and apparently irritated your ulnar nerve. The ulnar nerve travels from the shoulder to the hand and serves to allow movement and sensation in the wrist and hand.


The ulnar nerve is most exposed at the elbow where it is near the skin between two bony prominences. This is what is referred to when people say they 'hit my funny bone' although typically it is just a momentary discomfort. Your degree of discomfort may indicate irritation or damage to the sheath covering the nerve or inflammation (swelling) that is pressing on the nerve.


Treatment includes over the counter pain medications, and ice to the area.


You may want to use a supportive elbow splint to relieve symptoms and allow for rest of the joint.


In cases of a severe level of damage to the nerve, pain medications, neuropathy medications such as gabapentin, or corticosteroid injections may be required. In severe cases surgery may be needed and physical therapy for rehabilitation.


If your injury was mild, you will notice symptoms resolving daily as the swelling in the tissues around the nerve decreases.


In your case, you may want to try using a medication like Alieve or naprosyn (if you have no other contraindications in taking these medications) ice and rest and see if there is significant improvement over the next few days.


If no improvement, please see your physician.


You may also choose of course to be evaluated sooner, if your pain and ability to function is significantly restricting your ability to function.


I am standing by in case you have additional questions.






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