Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Brace: Types, Symptoms & Causes

Cubital tunnel syndrome brace is worn to treat cubital tunnel syndrome. It works by immobilizing and holding the elbow at an angle to treat the syndrome and reduce symptoms like numbness and tingling sensation.

There are many cubital tunnel syndrome brace available in the market, so it is best you get the best to give you results and treat your condition. In this article, we will explain cubital tunnel syndrome, causes, symptoms and braces to treat it.

WHAT IS CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

Cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition that describes when the ulnar nerve is irritated, stretched or compressed. It causes the affected hand, wrist or fingers to become numb. The ulnar nerve is a nerve in the body that runs along the neck down to the fingers, it is located close to the ulnar bone (the little finger side of the forearm). This nerve is responsible for giving sensation to the forearm, the ring and little fingers as well. 

The ulnar nerve covers the entire arm from up to down, so there are many areas that are prone to irritation. One of the common areas that is easily irritated is at the elbow located in the cubital tunnel. The cubital tunnel is a small passageway of bone, muscle, and ligament found on the inside of the elbow through which the ulnar nerve passes.

The exact cause of cubital tunnel syndrome is not known, but; repetitive movements too much pressure or tension on the nerve can contribute to this condition. There are many names given to this condition by health experts, some of them are handlebar palay, Guyon’s canal syndrome, tardy ulnar palsy, ulnar nerve entrapment, or bicycler’s neuropathy.

CAUSES OF CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME AND RISK FACTORS

The exact cause of this condition may not be known but there are factors that can contribute to the irritation and compression of the ulnar nerve.

Some of the potential causes are:

1. Pressure on the Cubital Tunnel: The cubital tunnel is very narrow with soft tissues covering it. This makes the ulnar nerve vulnerable to pressure on the cubital tunnel. Activities like leaning the arm directly on a firm surface can cause pressure. When there is pressure , the ulnar nerve becomes compressed and this leads to the ring and little fingers becoming numb.

2. Stretching: The ulnar passes through the cubital tunnel in the arm and it can become stretched. If you keep your elbow bent for a long time, the ulnar nerve can become stretched.

3. Anatomy of the Body: The joint at the elbow is a point for many nerves and blood vessels so this made it to be crowded. The crowding makes the ulnar nerve susceptible to extra pressure from the elbow joint. The ulnar nerve moves as your body makes movements. Sometimes, it moves over bony lumps in the elbow, this causes irritation.

According to Medical News Today, there are some activities and previous injuries that increases your risk of developing cubital tunnel syndrome.

These activities or previous injuries are:

  • Swollen elbow joint
  • Arthritis of the elbow
  • Prolonged and continuous movements that entails bending and flexing the elbow
  • Previous dislocation of the elbow
  • Cysts near the elbow joint.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Brace
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Brace

SYMPTOMS OF CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Difficulty in bending and straightening the fingers 
  • Reduced and weak grip on things
  • Pain in the fingers, arm or forearm
  • Numbness and weakness of the fingers, arm or forearm
  • Waking at night due to the pain and numbness of the hand or ring and little fingers
  • Difficulty in doing things with the fingers or hands
  • Loss of muscle at the end of the thumb and first finger.

CUBITAL TUNNEL SYNDROME BRACE

Cubital tunnel syndrome brace helps to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by this condition, it does this by keeping your arm straight and prevent bending.

These braces include:

1. BraceAbility Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Brace

This brace is designed to disable the arm at a 122 degree angle, this position protects the elbow joint from excessive bending and stretching, this will help to reduce the pressure and compression on the ulnar nerve. It is made with 3 medical straps that are adjustable to help you secure a stable and good fit while you recover from the syndrome. BraceAbility Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Brace has an open style that prevents compression at the elbow where the ulnar nerve is most likely to be irritated.

BraceAbility Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Elbow Brace is made with high density shell and plush liner to give the brace enough strength to keep your elbow joint in a fixed state without flexing. The hard polythene shell of the brace makes it difficult for the ulnar nerve to feel pressure. The soft liner gives your elbow comfort while you wear the brace for long time.

You can wear this brace even at night while you sleep, it is comfortable enough. There are many sizes from small to large, anyone can wear this including petite women and large framed men.

2. Lonnie Brace

Lonnie Brace is another brace that can be worn comfortably during the day and at night. It is comfortable but rigid for keeping your elbow from flexing or stretching. It is best to cushion the elbow and decompress ulnar nerve. 

It also prevents injury and reinjury on the elbow and forearm during the day. It is removable and can be worn on any arm. Apart from being used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome, Lonnie Brace can be used to treat tendinitis pain, complex repetitive strain injuries, general elbow pain, ulnar nerve damage pain, golf and tennis elbow.

3. Fibee Elbow Brace for Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Fibee adjustable elbow brace is designed with built-in bendable aluminum plate that keeps the elbow joint at 145 to 180 angle degrees which helps to prevent excessive bending and extension of the elbow while keeping it in a comfortable position. It can also be worn by those with elbow arthritis or after elbow fracture surgery to help them recover.

The material used for this brace is very light, breathable and comfortable. Fibee adjustable elbow brace is easy to use and can be worn while working, sleeping and other activities. It has four adjustable velcro straps that helps you to adjust the tightness of the brace and fix it to the appropriate compression or fitness. The brace is also reversible with sizes like small and large depending on your body size.

4. Sylong Adjustable Elbow Brace

Sylong Adjustable Elbow Brace is developed by the Sylong Health Technology Company and professor of orthopaedics, Department of Medicine, Ningbo University. It has an aluminum strap that is strong and hard to deform while using it. This bendable, lightweight aluminum strap helps you to adjust the curve of the elbow from 90 to 180 degrees which makes you comfortable and relieve pain. 

The fabric used in making the brace is breathable, comfortable, soft, skin friendly and without odor. The inside sleeve makes the brace comfortable to be worn all through the day and at night as well. There are 4 adjustable velcro straps for the lower arm, upper arm and elbow, these straps makes it difficult for the brace to slide down to the elbow.

Sylong Adjustable Elbow Brace is light to carry about, it is foldable and and small. It is easy to use, can be hand washed or machine washed for your convenience. You can choose from the two sizes available – the small and large size.

5. Armstrong Amerika Elbow Splint Tendonitis Elbow Brace

Armstrong Amerika Elbow Splint Tendonitis Elbow Brace is designed to have adjustable straps that can be fixed to suit your elbow size and avoid the brace from sliding down. The splints are also removable for your comfort.

It is made with materials (neoprene blend) that are breathable, light and comfortable to the akin. You can wear the brace during the days and at night without feeling uncomfortable or pain. The brace has there’s straps with inner compression sleeve that keeps your elbow secured to prevent flexion and extension. You can choose from the two sizes available – small and large.

6. Reamphy Store Elbow Brace

Reamphy Store Elbow Brace is made with breathable, light and comfortable material that is friendly to the skin. It has just one universal size with four removable metal strips, the brace can be adjusted to fit any arm size. The strip keeps the elbow straight while preventing injury or compression on the ulnar nerve. You can remove the metal strips to make it easier to adjust the posture of the arm anytime.

This brace does not hinder you from using your arm, you can comfortably use it while sleeping, working, playing games and even weight lifting. You can wash the brace with either hands or machine. However, if you are allergic to neoprene fabric, you should not use this brace.

7. Peizson Elbow Brace for Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

This brace is made with soft and durable material and the design is mesh and pinhole. There is also inner compression sleeve that keeps the elbow comfortable and protects the skin as well. PEIZSON Elbow Brace for Ulnar Nerve Entrapment has two metal splints that are removable, these splints keep the elbow straight and help to prevent injury to the elbow.

You can remove the metal splints before you sleep to get good night rest while protecting the elbow. There are three adjustable straps to help you adjust the brace to your arm size. There are two sizes available for both men and women. If your skin is allergic to neoprene fabric, you should not use this brace.

CONCLUSION

Cubital tunnel syndrome brace is used to treat cubital tunnel syndrome. It keeps the elbow straight and prevents flexion and extension. It can also help to prevent injury to the elbow as well. You can get brace from online stores, check out for the material to avoid reactions on your skin if you are allergic to some fabrics. 

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