radial nerve

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Definition - What does radial nerve mean?

The radial nerve one of three main nerves in the arm. The radial nerve?s primary purpose is to control motor functions in many of the muscles of the arm, wrist, and fingers. The radial nerve also controls some of the sensory input from the hand and fingers.

Overuse of the arm or hand can cause irritation to the radial nerve. In the workplace, care should be taken to avoid repetitive tasks that can irritate the radial nerve, which can result in the development of workplace-related musculoskeletal disorders.

SureHire explains radial nerve

The radial nerve runs along the underside of the upper arm, through the elbow and the divides into two main branches in the lower arm. A depression called the radial groove in the humerus bone of the upper arm guides the passage of the nerve to the elbow. Once at the elbow, the radial nerve passes through a narrow set of bone, fibrous bands, and muscles called the radial tunnel. If the nerve becomes pinched as it passes through the radial tunnel a person can develop radial tunnel syndrome.

Damage or injury to the radial nerve is sometimes referred to as radial neuropathy, or radial nerve palsy. Injuries to the radial nerve may be caused by overuse, bone fractures, infections, or cuts. Repetitious pushing and pulling with the arm, gripping or pinching with the hand, or bending or twisting the wrist can all damage or irritate the radial nerve. Other health conditions such as diabetes, underactive thyroid or lack of muscle strength or flexibility can exacerbate injury to the radial nerve.

Symptoms of a radial nerve injury may include tingling, numbness or a burning pain depending on the type and location of the injury. In some instances the damage does not cause pain, only loss of muscle control. In addition to general weakness and muscle fatigue in the arm, radial nerve injuries may cause the sufferer to lose the ability to move his or her wrist or fingers. Medications, splints, and changes in physical behavior patterns are among the methods used to treat injuries to the radial nerve.

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