Upper Arm Nerve Care

A complex network of nerves runs from the shoulder to the fingertips, carrying messages from the brain for motion, sensation, and reflexes. Injuries to the upper arm can cause trauma to the nerves, affecting the function of the forearm and wrist. When a nerve is bruised, it may heal with time, but when the damage is more severe, surgical intervention may be necessary to improve or restore function. 

Man holding his wrist as he holds a tennis racket in the other hand


Nerve damage to the forearm or wrist can lead to several challenging symptoms that impact the quality of life, including:

  • Loss of sensation and numbness at the wrist or forearm
  • Shooting pain
  • Loss of normal function of the forearm and wrist
  • Loss of ability to flex and/or extend the wrist
  • Reduced muscle tone at the forearm
  • Tingling sensation
  • Twitching
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Burning sensation
  • Difficulty positioning the hand 
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Tenderness at the elbow joint

Nerve Dysfunction at Wrist or Forearm: Conditions

The conditions associated with nerve dysfunction at the wrist or forearm include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: This condition is the result of pressure on the median nerve, one of the major nerves to the hand, which becomes constricted or compressed as it passes through the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome worsens over time and should be diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. 
  • Ulnar nerve entrapment: The ulnar nerve is one of the branches of the brachial plexus nerve system. It travels down the back and inside of the arm to the hand. It functions to send signals to the muscles of the forearm and hand. The ulnar nerve can be compressed at the wrist or elbow. This condition is also known as Guyon’s canal syndrome, Tardy ulnar palsy, cubital tunnel syndrome, or bicycler’s neuropathy. 
  • Median nerve injury: The median nerve delivers nerve impulses for movement function of the forearm, wrist, and hand. When this nerve is pinched or constricted, it is typically called carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition causes wrist pain or difficulties experienced when grasping or holding items.
  • Hand nerve compression syndrome: When the nerves traveling down the arm to the wrist and hand are squeezed or compacted, it is a condition called hand nerve compression syndrome. The types of nerve compression syndromes affecting the wrist and hand include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, radial nerve compression syndrome, and Guyon’s canal syndrome. These conditions are often associated with repetitive motion.
  • Radial nerve injury: The radial nerve can be damaged in an accident, bone fractures, sports accidents, falls, compression, hammering, practicing tennis or golf, or due to other physical conditions such as diabetes.
  • De Quervain’s disease: Nerve damage to the hand can be the result of inflammation of the tendons, which can be triggered by repetitive hand motions such as lifting, knitting, or activities that involve squeezing the hand repetitively. 

Other Conditions Include:

  • Pronator sydnrome: This typically causes aching pain in the forearm, usually due to compression of the median nerve.
  • PIN (posterior interosseous nerve) compression or dysfunction: Affecting the thumb and fingers, this type of nerve compression can be caused by inflammation, repetitive strain or injury.
  • AIN (anterior interosseous nerve) compression or dysfunction: In this case, you may experience weakness or lack of facility in index and thumb finger pincer movement or pain in the forearm.


The treatment performed to restore function and reduce or resolve pain, will require a careful and thorough diagnosis. The tests may include MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, X-ray, MR neurography, nerve conduction studies, EMG (electromyogram), or other tests to identify the actual condition and plan treatment. The types of treatments that may be necessary to resolve the condition could be surgical or non-surgical, based on the diagnosis, and include:

  • Bracing, splinting
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Specialized exercises 
  • Steroid injections
  • Joint denervation
  • Endoscopic surgery to release pressure or constriction of the affected nerve
  • Nerve repair
  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve grafts
  • Nerve transfers
  • Nerve tumor excision
  • Ultrasound-guided injections
  • Tendon transfers
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Why Choose The Atlas Institute Peripheral Nerve Care?

At The Atlas Institute, wrist and forearm peripheral nerve conditions will be treated by expert hand surgeons with advanced training in nerve-specific maladies and deliver the full spectrum of treatment. The diagnosis and treatment are provided at our state-of-the-art nerve center, which is fully equipped with the latest in diagnostic and therapeutic technology. As a result, not every nerve condition at the forearm or wrist requires surgery, and we offer a range of treatments. 

The Atlas Institute team delivers both surgical and non-surgical solutions for nerve pain or dysfunction. The goal is to restore wrist and forearm function and health. In cases that require surgery, these procedures are performed with meticulous care. You may be frustrated after being passed from doctor to doctor without an accurate diagnosis or effective treatment plan. At The Atlas Institute, we believe you should be able to lead a pain-free life and return to normal function with pain dramatically reduced or entirely gone.

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