What is a Trapped Nerve?
A Trapped Nerve, also known as a pinched nerve or neural entrapment, is when a nerve is irritated or compressed by the surrounding tissues, causing pain and altered sensations. This injury can occur all over the body, however the most common locations are in the neck, the lower back (Sciatica) and wrist (Carpel Tunnel Syndrome).
Signs & Symptoms
- referred pain (normally down a limb)
- altered sensations (pins and needles, numbness, burning, tingling)
- symptoms may be irregular at first, however become more constant as severity increases
- muscle weakness
- diminished reflexes
What causes a Trapped Nerve?
Trapped nerves are caused when the surrounding tissues irritate or compress a nerve. These surrounding tissues include:
- a disc hernia or protrusion
- arthritic spurs (bone spurs)
- inflammation from a different injury
As trapped nerves occur all over the body, there are many different risk factors in developing this injury. These include:
- poor sitting or lifting posture
- scoliosis (twisted spine)
- lower back or neck stiffness
- muscle weakness and/or tightness
- repetitive activities, such as typing all day
If a nerve is compressed for a short period of time it is often able to repair itself, but it may take several weeks to months for the symptoms to fully resolve. However, if the compression remains present for a longer period of time permanent nerve injury may occur.
How can we help?
- Soft Tissue Massage to decrease muscle spasm and compression on the trapped nerve. A gentle home-based Neural Mobility Program will be provided to assist treatment.
- Acupuncture / Dry Needling for pain relief and to deactivate painful trigger points. This can be used with Electrotherapy if indicated.
- Mobilisations / Manipulations (Adjustments) of the spine to decrease joint stiffness and take pressure off the nerve by allowing more space for it to pass through.
- Strengthening Exercises for weak muscles to prevent the injury from returning.
- Education & Advice about posture and its relationship to developing trapped nerves.
- Corticosteroid Injections can be organised by referring to a Medical Specialist (if necessary).
Are you suffering from nerve pain or tingling? Are you concerned you may be giving yourself a permanent injury? Research shows that physiotherapy is proven to be an effective way of treating a Trapped Nerves.
See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now and be free from nerve pain forever!!!