resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
June, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 06
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Nerve compression problems are a frequent cause for pain and dysfunction in the upper extremity, particularly in the occupational environment. Although not as present in the popular literature as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome is a common nerve compression pathology.In fact, it is the second most common peripheral compression neuropathy.1 It occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed between the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris on the posterior elbow within a region called the cubital tunnel.
The cubital tunnel is located on the posterior elbow and is bordered by the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) muscle. One head of the FCU muscle comes from the common flexor tendon attachments at the medial epicondyle of the humerus. The other comes off the medial aspect of the olecranon process. The two heads eventually join to form the belly of the FCU.
The nerve eventually passes between these two heads (Figure 1). Space within the cubital tunnel may decrease as much as 55 percent during elbow flexion, making nerve compression more likely.1 In addition, during flexion the ulnar nerve is increasingly pulled taut which may also aggravate symptoms. Subluxation (shifting position) of the ulnar nerve as the elbow moves into flexion could produce symptoms in this region as well.2
Cubital tunnel syndrome may occur as a result of direct compression of the elbow (either acute or chronic), excessive cubital valgus, bone spurs, synovial ganglions, fibrous bands within the muscle, or mechanical compression of the nerve during elbow flexion. The most frequent cause of cubital tunnel syndrome is hypertonicity of the FCU. The ulnar nerve may also be sensitive to compression if there are more proximal ulnar nerve compression pathologies such as thoracic outlet syndrome.3
Cubital tunnel syndrome usually produces a variety of sensory symptoms, including pain, burning, tingling or paresthesia. Motor symptoms such as weakness or atrophy may be seen as well. Weakness usually affects the intrinsic muscles of the hand more than other muscles in the forearm innervated by the ulnar nerve.
The client may report an acute compression injury to the posterior elbow that started the symptoms, such as striking the elbow on a hard object. This condition should not be confused with hitting one's funny bone. In this instance, the blow causes nerve compression between the medial epicondyle of the humerus and the olecranon process of the ulna just before it enters the cubital tunnel.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is more likely to occur as a chronic condition and is seen more often in men than women. The practitioner should identify actions that involved repetitive or static flexion of the elbow prior to the onset of symptoms. Prolonged compression of the elbow region, such as leaning on the elbows for long periods, should be identified. Symptoms are often aggravated at night if the client spends long periods with the elbow in a flexed position.
The client usually reports pain, aching, burning sensations or paresthesia in the ulnar nerve distribution of the hand (Figure 2). Weakness or atrophy are likely to affect the adductor pollicis muscle, which is an important muscle in grasping objects. Consequently, the client may report difficulty holding objects or having a degree of clumsiness when attempting to perform precise tasks. Atrophy of this muscle may be apparent with a decrease in the size of the muscle mass between the thumb and fingers compared to the unaffected side. Other instrinsic hand muscles innervated by the ulnar nerve are those of the hypothenar eminence (the fleshy bundle of muscles near the base of the hand on the ulnar side). Atrophy in these muscles may be evident with a decrease in size compared to the unaffected side.
Pressing directly over the cubital tunnel is likely to elicit the client's symptoms. Palpate the region when the elbow is in neutral, as well as full flexion. If the symptoms are exaggerated during flexion, this may be an indicator of cubital tunnel compression. There may also be anatomic obstructions in the cubital tunnel, such as bone spurs or synovial masses that are palpable. Tenderness or hypertonicity may be evident in the FCU muscle throughout the forearm.
Massage is helpful for cubital tunnel syndrome because a primary cause is muscular hypertonicity in the wrist flexor muscles. Techniques such as deep stripping to the flexor carpi ulnaris may help decrease compression on the ulnar nerve. Particular caution should be observed in applying pressure to the flexor carpi ulnaris near the region of ulnar nerve entrapment so as not to aggravate the pathology.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.