Nerves are essential to everything that you do. The nervous system carries messages to and from the brain. Nerves control your movements and actions, the sensations you feel on your skin (including pleasure or pain), and even your heart rate and blood pressure. In the upper extremity, the nerves are:
- Ulnar nerve: This nerve provides sensation to the hand, especially the small and ring fingers, and contributes to the muscles that bend the wrist. It travels around the inside of the elbow and across the wrist.
- Radial nerve: This nerve contributes to muscles that bend the wrist, fingers and elbow. It also provides sensation on the back of the hand and thumb.
- Median nerve: This nerve provides sensation to the hand. It travels down the middle of the forearm and crosses the wrist through the carpal tunnel.
- Musculocutaneous nerve: This nerve contributes to muscles that bend the elbow and provides sensation to the forearm.
- Axillary nerve: This nerve provides signals to muscles that help raise the arm. It travels deep around the shoulder.
Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Learn more about the signs of a nerve injury and how it can be treated. Brush up on your anatomy knowledge at www.HandCare.org.