Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Finding Relief: Effective Approaches to Radial Tunnel Syndrome

Radial Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that causes pain in the forearm due to pressure on the radial nerve, one of the major nerves in the arm. This nerve runs down the underside of the arm, passes through a narrow pathway called the radial tunnel near the elbow, and continues into the hand. When the radial nerve is compressed or pinched within this tunnel, it can lead to symptoms that can affect the arm and hand.

The pain from Radial Tunnel Syndrome is often located on the outside of the elbow and can extend down the forearm towards the hand. It’s commonly mistaken for tennis elbow, which affects the tendons on the outside of the elbow, rather than the nerve. Unlike tennis elbow, Radial Tunnel Syndrome might not necessarily worsen with forearm or wrist movements, but it can cause a deep, aching pain that might be mistaken for muscle or joint issues.

Radial Tunnel Syndrome is often the result of repetitive movements of the arm or wrist, direct trauma to the outside of the elbow, or constant muscle tension due to activities like gripping, pinching, or typing. People who perform repetitive manual tasks or engage in sports that involve repetitive arm or wrist movements are at higher risk for developing this condition.

We Can Help

Diagnosis can be challenging due to the syndrome’s symptoms overlapping with other conditions like tennis elbow. Physicians may use a combination of physical examinations, patient history, and sometimes nerve conduction studies to diagnose the condition accurately.

Treatment typically focuses on relieving the pressure on the radial nerve to alleviate symptoms. This can include rest, physical therapy, and modifications to activities to avoid further nerve compression. In some cases, anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections are used to reduce inflammation. Surgery may be considered if conservative treatments are ineffective, aiming to decompress the nerve and alleviate the pain.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, most individuals with Radial Tunnel Syndrome can recover fully and return to their regular activities without lasting issues.