You may irritate the ulnar nerve by striking or leaning too hard on your elbow. Your elbow aches, and your ring finger and little finger may be tingly or numb.
If you’ve ever hit your “funny bone”, you’ve really hit your ulnar nerve. Inflammation of this nerve is called ulnar neuritis. Ulnar neuritis may occur if this nerve is pressured over the years. Or it can happen just by leaning heavily on your elbow or bending it for long periods of time. You may feel tingling and numbness in your ring finger and little finger. Reducing pressure can be enough to treat and prevent ulnar neuritis.
When your Nerve Is Irritated
Your ulnar lies near the tip of the elbow. It can be irritated by leaning on it, bending the elbow constantly, or striking it. As the nerve is pressed between the nerve and bone, your elbow may ache. Your ring finger and little finger may feel tingly and numb.
Treatment and Prevention
A nerve conduction study can help find the cause of your neuritis. Your doctor may prescribe pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory such as aspirin. Simply not leaning on or bending your elbow for long periods of time may be enough. If you must lean, wear an elbow pad to reduce pressure on the nerve. You may need to wear a splint at night to keep your elbow straight. Surgery is sometimes needed to treat neuritis.