Three important nerves are responsible for motor and sensory functions of the hand: The median nerve (metacarpal nerve), the ulnar nerve (ulnar nerve) and the radial nerve (radial nerve). The median nerve controls, among other things, the movements of the thumb, index and ring fingers, as well as the inner area of the palm.
The ulnar nerve runs along the inside of the upper and lower arm to the hand and is partly responsible for the flexion of the little and ring finger as well as the extension of all long fingers. The radial nerve controls the extensor muscles of the elbow, wrist, and finger joints. Diseases of these hand nerves are often accompanied by pain and numbness, but sometimes also paralysis.
In a so-called nerve compression syndrome, a nerve is constricted at certain anatomical bottlenecks and chronic pressure damage can occur. Since important nerves run through the hand and forearms in a very confined space, the risk of bottleneck syndromes is high here from an anatomical point of view alone.
Nerve compression syndromes are extremely common and can affect anyone who moves their hand and fingers a lot and permanently: athletes as well as hobby gardeners, online gamers, artists, salespersons at the cash register or managers. Hand functions such as touching, feeling or grasping become a challenge. Tingling, numbness, nocturnal insensations and even lasting nerve damage, muscle atrophy and paralysis can become serious problems.
The best-known nerve compression syndromes include carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, Wartenberg syndrome and Loge de Guyon syndrome.
Neuromas and neurinomas are benign nerve tissue proliferations that must always be examined by experts, as malignant tumors can also cause similar symptoms.