Are you experiencing numbness and tingling from your elbow down to your small finger when using your cell phone for long periods of time? If you are, you may have a condition called cell phone elbow, medically known as cubital tunnel syndrome. This is the second most common nerve compression in the arm, after carpal tunnel syndrome.
The tingling you may be experiencing is due to the position of your elbow while talking on your phone. When your elbow is bent at a 90 degree angle, this puts pressure on the ulnar nerve, the nerve that lies behind “the funny bone” in your elbow. Since the nerve branches into your hand, you may feel numbness and tingling down to your fingers. Prolonged damage may cause you to lose muscle strength, mobility, and sensation.
To avoid, or in order to remedy this situation, recommendations are as follows:
- Switch hands when using the cell phone.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Use a headset whenever possible.
- Avoid leaning on your elbow whenever possible.
If symptoms persist and you continue to feel pain, weakness, or loss of sensation, there are other treatment methods, such as splinting, therapy, and in some cases surgery.
For a consultation, please contact 718-283-7400 to see Dr. David Edelstein or Dr. Jack Choueka.