A pinched radial nerve involves inflammation of the tendons linking the forearm muscles to the elbow. The cause is mainly due to repetitive movement that twists the elbow or taxing gripping or rotating using the hand.
A direct blow or strike to the exterior of the elbow can also result to injury to the radial nerve. The remedies for a pinched radial nerve range from simple exercise to surgery in severe cases.
Measures in managing a pinched radial nerve
Analgesics are medications given to relieve the pain. The pain linked with a pinched radial nerve can be reduced with any variant of over-the-counter pain medication. As for the puffiness in the radial tunnel that results to crushing, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) is suggested.
Application of ice
Ice works by reducing the swelling but heat works by relaxing and expanding the muscle tissues. Right after the symptoms start, cold is the ideal option. Remember that the radial nerve is ensnared somewhere in the radial tunnel which is responsible for the pain.
It is difficult to pinpoint what is causing the compression without undergoing medical scans, but it is likely due to a minimally torn tendon or muscle fiber that became swollen. Once the muscle fibers are torn, the capillaries that supply the muscle with blood might rupture, thus flooding the site with blood and other fluids which results to localized swelling. Cold lessens the swelling and limits the flow of blood in the damaged capillaries.
Rest is the ideal treatment option for a pinched radial nerve. The precise cause should be identified and once determined, it must be avoided until the symptoms lessen.
The elbow should be immobilized using an Ace bandage or with a forearm splint. It might not fully limit movement though. Analgesics even the over-the-counter variants can help in reducing the pain.
Certain exercises can help slacken a compressed site in the radial tunnel and move the nerve out of any obstruction. Remember that the elbow should not be strained with rehabilitative exercises until it has been given enough time to rest.