Sleeping with elbow bent = elbow pain/wrist pain

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Can't think of a name, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    Lately I've been having chronic pain on the inside part of my elbow (funny bone area) that just wouldn't go away. Its like a sore dull pain that has been hindering my tennis. Also at the same time.. a sharp wrist pain (outside of wrist, below pinky side) that hurts when twisting door knobs and hitting forehands. On some forehands it stung so much that i could feel a burning sensation up my arm a bit. I thought maybe the pain was caused by some sort of bad stroke mechanic habit i accidentally picked up.
    Anywho.. I discovered that when I bent my arm upward the pain in my elbow got a little worse each time. I also notice that I always sleep with my right arm bent up at the elbow and hand near my head. So finally I put two and two together and decided I should sleep with my arm straight by my side. When I woke up there was almost no pain in either my elbow or wrist.
    I did some googling and sure enough theres something called Cubital tunnel syndrome that is caused by stretching the ulnar nerve around the elbow. And over time it causes inflammation and pain in the elbow, wrist and little finger area.
    The moral of the story is..if you have wrist and/or elbow pain and sleep with your elbow bent and hand by your head.. give straight arm sleeping a try :)
     
    #1
  2. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Thanks for the tip.

    It's possible that sleeping on the ulnar nerve at its "funny bone" area at the elbow initiated some inflammation, and that was exacerbated by playing tennis.
     
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  3. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Glad you figured it out on your own.

    I dealt with the issue a few years back but didn't notice it when sleeping. My PT told me to do exactly as you did, sleep with your arms straight and not behind my head. It took about a week for mine to dissipate but once it did I have had no recurring symptoms.
     
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  4. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Yes, sleeping positions are very important specially if you are a tennis player, another one very common is to sleep sideways putting all the weight on your shoulder. I have found that the combination of playing a lot of tennis and bad sleeping positions is a bad BAD combination.
     
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  5. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You think sleeping with a bent elbow is bad, try sleeping with a limp wrist..........
     
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  6. jk816

    jk816 Rookie

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    Sounds a lot like a case of medial epicondylitis (golfers elbow). I too ntice with mine that with my arm straight is not very tender, but becomes more so with the elbow bent. Excessive pronation (especially on serves) and pressure against the ring and pinky fingers exacerbate this. Never tracked my sleeping habits though.
     
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  7. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Did you strap your arms to your body or just use a splint? Used a sleeping cast on my leg, never saw one for the elbow.
     
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  8. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I found an elbow splint...pretty generic at Walgreens or Target that did the trick. Drove me nuts to try and sleep like that for the first few nights.
     
    #8
  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks. Was going to try this spine board but my wife objected. Refused to strap me on.
     
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  10. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I think my wife would have been a little too enthusiastic to strap me down...
     
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  11. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    i have golfers elbow:(
    when i sleep and the medial epicondyle (the bone sticking out on the inside of your elbow)
    is laying against the bed
    i get more pain
    i bought a lacrosse elobow pad that i sleep with and dont have the problem any more
     
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