Ulnar Nerve Gliding Exercises
The ulnar nerve extends the length of your arm from the back of your neck. Majority of people suffer cubital tunnel syndrome wiht pain occuring behind the elbow area. This can be due to bone spurs, swelling, cysts near the elbow, or repetitve prolonged activities that require the elbow to be bent or flexed. The nerve can become irritated when pressue occurs in the area. Some doctors recommend performing nerve gliding exercises that may improve symptoms and minimize the effects of your arm and wrist getting stiff.
Exercises to Perform
The following list of exercises can help relieve you of pain from your ulnar nerve.
Positioning the affected arm in front of you at shoulder height, bend the wrist and fingers towards you. Slowly open the fingers and extend the wrist. Bend the elbow.
Position the affected arm straight out to the side at shoulder height. Bend the wrist and fingers towards you. Rotate the arm outward externally and gently rotate forward and backward as instructed. Side bend the neck to the opposite side.
Referred to as the butterfly, place your hands on the side of your head with elbows faced forward. Push your elbows backwards towards the wall or bed if you are doing this laying down. Go as far as you can, giving yourself a nice easy stretch. Return the elbows forward again. Do not hold.
This exercise is referred to as the side walk. Placing your hands on your hips and feet shoulder width apart. Leave over to your left and slide your right hand up on the trunk a little. Lean over to the right and slide your hand up on the trunk a little. Repeat til your hands go as high as they can. Slide the hands down the side to the starting position. Repeat. Take some nice deep breaths while performing the trunk motions.
The towel slider exercise starts with placing a towel behind your back. Hold it diagonally with one arm at the top behind your shoulder and the other arm grabbing the bottom at your waist, flex the elbow down and pull with the bottom arm. Do not hold the stretch. Moving up and down is the key, giving a nice stretch.
Gently place your hand over your ear with elbow facing forward. Pull your elbow back towards the wall till you feel you have reached the end. You may feel a good stretch or ache, as expected. Bring the elbow forward again and arm down.