Elbow Pain

How to Fix a Pinched Nerve in the Elbow

A pinched nerve in the elbow, often involving the ulnar nerve, can cause discomfort and limit mobility. It’s frequently a result of poor posture or repetitive positions that put pressure on the nerve. 

For instance, constantly bending your elbow while using your phone or leaning on it while driving can trigger this issue. Addressing a pinched nerve involves a combination of posture correction, stretching, nerve mobilization, and resistance training.

Posture and Positioning

Proper posture and positioning are crucial in managing and preventing pinched nerves in the elbow. Here’s how you can optimize your posture to alleviate nerve compression:

  1. Ergonomic Workspace: If you work at a desk, ensure your workspace is set up ergonomically. Keep your elbows at a comfortable angle, ideally around 90 degrees, and avoid resting them on hard surfaces for prolonged periods.
  2. Mindful Phone Usage: When using your phone, try to keep your elbows relaxed and avoid holding the phone for too long in a bent position. Use a hands-free device if possible.
  3. Adjust Driving Position: For those who drive frequently, adjust your seat and steering wheel to prevent leaning and excessive bending of the elbow.
  4. Regular Stretching: Incorporate regular stretching breaks into your daily routine, especially if your work or activities involve repetitive arm and elbow movements.
  5. Sleep Posture Awareness: Be mindful of how you sleep. Try to avoid sleeping with your arm under your head or in positions that bend the elbow excessively.
  6. Take Frequent Breaks: If your job involves repetitive arm movements, make sure to take frequent breaks to stretch and change your position.

By being mindful of these points and incorporating them into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of pinched nerves in the elbow and promote better overall arm health.

Exercises and Stretches for Elbow Nerve Pain Relief

Before diving into the specific exercises, it’s important to understand how these activities contribute to alleviating a pinched nerve in the elbow. Stretching plays a crucial role in loosening tight muscles, which can relieve the pressure exerted on the nerve. 

Nerve mobilization exercises are specifically designed to free the nerve from entrapment and improve its mobility. 

Resistance training is equally important. Strengthening the muscles around the elbow joint provides better support and stability, reducing the chances of nerve compression. It also helps maintain joint function and can prevent the recurrence of similar issues.

Incorporating these three components—stretching, nerve mobilization, and resistance training—into your routine forms a comprehensive approach to managing and healing from a pinched nerve in the elbow.

A: Stretching Tight Muscles

Loosening tight muscles around the elbow can alleviate pressure on the nerve.

  1. Wrist Flexor Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds, repeat three times.
  2. Wrist Extensor Stretch: Same duration and repetitions.
  3. Bicep Stretch: 30-second hold, three repetitions.

These stretches help in reducing tension in the muscles that may contribute to nerve compression.

B: Mobilizing the Pinched Nerve

Nerve glides can help free up the nerve from its compressed state.

  • Ulnar Nerve Glide: Perform this gentle mobilization exercise 10 times.

C: Resistance Training for Strength and Support

Strengthening the muscles around the elbow can provide better support and reduce the chances of nerve compression.

  1. Rows with Resistance Band: Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.
  2. Pull Down with Resistance Band: Aim for 10 reps, three sets.
  3. Bicep Curl with Resistance Band: 3 sets of 10 reps each.
  4. Tricep Extension with Resistance Band: Also do three sets of 10 reps.


Combating a pinched nerve in the elbow requires a holistic approach that includes proper posture, stretching, nerve mobilization, and targeted strength training. 

Regular practice of these exercises can significantly alleviate pain and improve elbow function. However, if symptoms persist or worsen, it’s crucial to seek professional medical advice for a tailored treatment plan. Remember, the key to recovery is consistency and awareness of daily habits that might affect your elbow health.

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