Posted 5/31/2017 4:56 AM (GMT -6)
What happens when you try to straighten your arm? I'm trying to figure out what might be keeping it from extending properly. Is it painful? In what way? Pulling? Resistance? Locking?
Your nerve, which is only a certain length, is now buried under/in muscle tissue of the forearm. Any time you use those muscles, you irritate the nerve. Most of the time, the nerve 'adjusts' to this new stimulation and calms down. Overuse of the forearm muscles can irritate the nerve.
I garden. Weeding, raking, digging...using those muscles...probably going to cause a reaction. I take ibuprofen BEFORE these tasks to help keep any inflammation from developing. I've used Epsom salt soaks after. As I've already said, heating pad, pillows, massage, are all helpful.
The "elbows off the table" training I had as a kid has gone 'out the window'! Arm placement is a big deal! I have to consider my left forearm when choosing a car to drive! Can I rest my forearm comfortably? Does the arm rest irritate? The same questions go for chairs and sofas.
I tend to place the elbow pointing inward on a table, towards the center of it. Then the area of my arm that rests on the edge is closer to the wrist, with the hand dangling off the table surface. When typing, I have the keyboard on an angle, so that my wrist is on the edge of the desk. You will figure out which modifications you will need to make.
My injury was back in 1996. It was a few months before an E.M.G. was performed and surgery was scheduled. By this time, the nerve had been moving back and forth over the bone and had shredded. I'm tiny (the doctor noted 'diminutive female') so there's not much cushioning from muscle tissue now. Post operatively, I noted a 'pulling' sensation when I would extend the elbow. The electric shocks that followed were excruciating! My surgeon ordered Elavil, a drug that was used as an anti depressant but had a beneficial side effect of calming nerves tissue. While it didn't work 100%, it helped. These days most doctors order gabapentin for nerve pain. You may want to inquire about it.
My physical therapist used a method he referred to as 'points'. A stylus would be placed at intervals along the nerve and an electric pulse would travel through the stylus to the nerve. This was the MOST uncomfortable treatment, but the nerve would remain 'calm' for hours afterward.
I'm currently looking into magnesium supplements. I've heard that they can be helpful for 'nerve health'. I still have some numbness/burning/tingling issues and probably always will, but if I can calm it even more it will be worth it. I have full use of the arm, full use of the ring finger and pinky. Making a fist or any gripping hard will cause discomfort but I manage quite well. Typing a lot requires frequent breaks and does cause some irritation like the achiness one feels from flu, localized along the nerve path, but it passes soon enough. On very rough days I plug in the heating pad and wrap the forearm or have a nice soak.
I hope some of my experiences will prove useful to you. Keep posting.