Are you feeling more than a little trapped by physical pain? Here’s how to relieve the pain and discomfort of trapped nerves.
Nerves are your brain’s connection to the rest of your body. They are rooted in the brain and the spinal cord and they radiate outward into the rest of your body, keeping your brain informed about what is going on with every part of you. Because it is their job to sense and convey information, nerves are extremely sensitive. When constant pressure is exerted on a nerve, symptoms such as discomfort, numbness, or pain can occur. This is known as a trapped nerve, also called a pinched nerve or a compressed nerve. If left untreated, the consequences from trapped nerves can be severe.
What Causes Trapped Nerves?
There are a number of factors that cause nerves to become compressed or trapped. When other types of body tissue are irritated, they can swell and pinch the nerves that run through that area of your body. The most common culprits for putting excessive pressure on nerves are ligaments, tendons and bones. Repetitive motion, or lack of sufficient motion, can cause these tissues to become irritated and swollen, trapping the nerves and causing symptoms. This is especially likely to happen in areas where a nerve must travel through a narrow area without the protection of thick layers of soft tissue. Elbow, knees, wrists, and fingers are often vulnerable to trapped nerves.
Signs You May Have A Trapped Nerve
When you have a trapped or pinched nerve, there are a variety of symptoms you may notice. One of the most common symptoms is pain in the immediate area surrounding the trapped nerve, as the nerve sends out distress signals to your brain. Pain doesn’t always remain limited to the site of the compression, however. Because your nervous system is connected throughout your body, you may also feel radiating pain in other parts of your body. For instance, a trapped nerve in your neck can cause pain in your shoulders or your arms. You may also feel numbness, or a tingling sensation as the nerve is compressed and unable to send out any kind of signal.
Treatment For Trapped Nerves
Fortunately, the treatment for a pinched or trapped nerve is often very simple. In many cases, all that the patient needs to do is rest the affected area for a while, allowing the irritated tissues to relax and decrease their swelling, taking the pressure off the nerve. Sometimes, medication will be administered to help the swelling go down. Splints and braces are sometimes used to immobilize an area, preventing damage from repetitive motions. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the matter that is compressing the nerve, allowing it to heal and function again.
If you feel any of the symptoms of trapped nerves, don’t ignore them. See a physiotherapist immediately. The treatment may be very simple, but the damage from untreated pinched nerves can be very severe. Your doctor can diagnose the problem for you and formulate a treatment plan to get you back up and moving as you usually do.