Pronator teres syndrome involves the entrapment of the median nerve where it passes between the two parts of the pronator teres muscle in the arm. This results to pain, tingling and numbness in the hand and forearm.
Symptoms of pronator teres syndrome
The symptoms of pronator teres syndrome are somewhat similar to carpal tunnel syndrome including numbness or tingling in the palm, thumb and three fingers but not the pinky finger. In most cases, there is an aching sensation in the forearm and tenderness when pressing in on the pronator teres muscle in the arm. Take note that the strength is diminished in the thumb and first three fingers as well as in instances when turning the forearm in and bending the wrist.
Overview on pronator teres syndrome
The doctor will perform forearm pronation and wrist bending when diagnosing the syndrome. In case pain is produced, it can signify that the individual has pronator teres syndrome. It is vital to set apart carpal tunnel syndrome and pronator teres syndrome. When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, there is no pain or weakness when the palm is turned down while the pronator teres muscle does not show any signs of tenderness upon touch.
It is important to note that pronator teres syndrome typically occurs after extended or repetitive forearm pronation accompanied by forced flexion of the fingers. It simply means, forceful grasping using the hand and twisting at the wrist. Remember that these movements are common in manual tasks such as mechanics and carpentry. As for sports, rowing, racket sports and weight lifting are the common causes. This is due to the compression that is caused by an increase in the muscle bulk of the pronator teres muscle.
In addition, pronator teres syndrome can also occur due to trauma to the forearm, tumors, bony abnormalities or restrictive bands of fibrous tissues and scar tissue. It is interesting to note that this condition is likely to occur among women than men.
Treatment for pronator teres syndrome
It is vital that the individual will take a break from activities that can be a contributing issue to the condition. You can apply an ice pack to help ease the pain and swelling. Cold therapy can be applied for 10-15 minutes every hour initially and eventually reduced 3-4 times in a day as needed. To learn to recognize and manage the symptoms of pronator teres syndrome, register for first aid training today.
The doctor will prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. A sports injury specialist can use electrotherapy treatments such as laser or ultrasound. These are useful in minimizing muscular tension.
The pronator muscle stretches are also beneficial. A corticosteroid injection can be used if the symptoms do not seem to improve. Acupuncture is also effective in relieving muscular tension. Occasionally, surgery is often performed in order to release tight or abnormal structures.