Radial tunnel syndrome

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Radial tunnel syndrome involves entrapment of the radial nerve. This condition often occurs if the nerve is compressed or the tunnel it passes through is constricted.

What are the indications of radial tunnel syndrome?

The indications of radial tunnel syndrome are strikingly the same as tennis elbow and can be difficult to pinpoint which are responsible for triggering elbow pain. The usual indications include the following:

  • Sensation of “pins and needles” or tingling feeling in the hand and exterior forearm
    Radial tunnel syndrome
    Wrist pain and achiness that radiates upwards into the upper arm.
  • Soreness can be felt in the upper forearm muscles with the maximum point of tenderness approximately 4-6 cm down from the lateral epicondyle
  • Wrist pain and achiness that radiates upwards into the upper arm

There are specific tests used to diagnose the condition in which pain is produced during the turning of the palm of the hand up and when extending the middle finger against resistance.

It is important to note that the radial nerve is divided into 2 branches at the elbow. The condition is prevalent among those who pronate and supinate the arm in a repeated manner or turning the hand over.


The treatment for radial tunnel syndrome includes rest and avoiding any repetitive movements of the wrist. The application of an ice pack on the elbow and forearm can also help alleviate the symptoms.

Anti-inflammatory medications might be given by the doctor. A therapist might utilize soft tissue massage to let go the supinator muscle that is often responsible for causing the entrapment. In addition, neural stretching might be part of the physical therapy routine. As for severe or persistent cases, surgery might be required that involves decompression of the nerve.

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