skull x-ray

Fixing Ulnar Nerve Entrapment With Strength Training

So lately I’ve been dealing with a lot or problems – it started a year and a half ago with some tingling in my fingers and then as I did more pushups (with no prep work), wore a 50-60lb backpack around the Atlanta airport for two days, crammed for a recital ON ALTO FLUTE things got REALLY ugly. I got shooting electrical pains down my arm, I felt like my right tricep and teres major/minor (back side of shoulder) were constantly contracted, and if I did something wrong my entire right upper quadrant would seize up with searing pain, tingling and numbness.

Fast forward a year and chiropractic care definitely helped, but I wasn’t working out. I didn’t know what to do, what things would make the problem worse or better as there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it. So I was told to rest….for a year. Terrible advice for that long especially for a hypermobile person. After a year, the shooting pains were gone but the numbness remained so I got an MRI and lo and behold, it wasn’t necessarily thoracic outlet syndrome, it was coming from my neck. Disk degeneration, retrolysthesis and spondylolisthesis with a bit of stenosis thrown in for good measure.

Yeah, rest was the worst.

(I know this isn’t an MRI, this is my latest xray though, notice the yellow lines at the backs of each vertebrae, there should be a curve backwards, not forward, also notice the lack of space between certain vertabrae…let’s just say a neck is not supposed to look like this – this is where my nerves are being compressed. Dont’t get whiplash kids, and definitely don’t get it 3 times….


What I needed was traction and strength.

I’m finally getting that and making progress and after that, a hamstring injury from too much cycling and oh yeah, breaking my foot *sigh* I”m just now getting back into smaller daily workouts and finding what works for me.

So imagine my annoyance when I start to get a tight, painful, weak and crampy feeling in my forearm, on the opposite side, the ulnar nerve side.

I then realized that remember the site of pain isn’t necessarily the source of pain? Bingo. Let’s do some strength training around the shoulder….voila! Much better! Now the trick is to keep it up – do this throughout the day, several times a day, and see if it doesn’t get better!


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So the exercises I did were:

  • mobilize the forearm, bicep and chest tissue
  • nerve flosses
  • external banded rotations
  • Banded scarecrows
  • Banded rotator cuff activation to press
  • Supine Y’s
  • Miniband Lateral Raises

I hope you found this helpful – leave a comment on either channel and let me know! And if you’re looking for something more specific, let’s talk. Here’s some links to stuff I used in the video.

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