A condition that affects the ulnar nerve where it crosses the inside edge of the elbow is referred to as Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. When you hit your funny bone, you are actually hitting the ulnar nerve on the inside of the elbow. There, the nerve runs through a passage called the Cubital Tunnel. When the cubital tunnel becomes irritated from injury or pressure, it can lead to Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. The symptoms of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome are very similar to the pain that comes from hitting your funny bone.
One common cause of problems is frequent bending of the elbow. Elbow bending activities like pulling levers, reaching or lifting are very common causes of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Constant direct pressure on the elbow over time may also lead to Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. The ulnar nerve can be irritated from leaning on the elbow while you sit at a desk or from using the elbow rest during long drives, etc. A massive blow to the cubital tunnel can also damage the ulnar nerve.
You may be asked to do special tests to get more information about the nerve. For this, you may have to undergo a physical exam. One common test is the nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test. The NCV test measures the speed of the impulses traveling along the nerve.
If your symptoms are worse at night, a lightweight plastic arm splint would be recommended by your therapist to limit movement and ease irritation. If your symptoms do not easily start fading away, even with changes in your activities and the nonsurgical treatments, you may have to undergo a surgery.
Your physical therapist will help you find ways to do your tasks that don't put too much stress on your elbow. Even after you undergo a surgery, your doctor may recommend you to meet your physiotherapist, so that he can help you perform some essential exercises as a part of rehabilitation. The exercises will be designed keeping in mind your daily or sports activities, work tasks, etc. in order to restore strength and flexibility.