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Nerve Entrapment Syndromes And Massage Therapy

21 February 2011 2 Comments

Massage Article of the day #36:  02/21/2011

What Are Nerve Entrapment Syndromes?

Nerve Entrapment Syndromes are nerve impingement conditions in which nerves or nerve roots are placed under abnormal pressure by soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, or fascia. The abnormal pressure on the nerves or nerve roots creates pain locally or radiating outward, numbness or tingling in the area supplied by the nerve and possibly weakness or twitching of affected muscles. Nerve entrapment syndromes are fairly common and you may have heard of some of them like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Piriformis Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Meralgia Paresthetica, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, and Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.

What Are The Causes Of Nerve Entrapment Syndromes?

There are a number of causes for Nerve Entrapment Syndromes. Direct trauma to the muscles or tendons are a common cause and this includes injuries which quickly overstretch and damage soft tissues like whiplash does. Overworking muscles and tendons through excessive exercise, or through incorrect repetitive motions (Repetitive Stress Injuries) including typing and assembly line work can cause several Nerve Entrapment Syndromes. Additionally, postural distortions such as Forward Head Posture, Leg Length Discrepancy, or Lower Crossed Syndrome often lead to entrapment conditions. In rare cases certain genetic factors can lead to Nerve Entrapment Syndromes.

Ulnar Nerve Massage Therapy 2

Massage Therapy And Bodywork For Nerve Entrapment Syndromes

There are many ways that massage therapy and bodywork can be used to treat Nerve Entrapment Syndromes. The massage therapist will employ a number of techniques to relieve these conditions. For example the massage therapist may use Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy to eliminate myofascial trigger points in the muscles entrapping the affected nerve. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release adhesions between the muscles and surrounding ligamentous and fascial tissues while also using Muscle Energy Techniques to gently lengthen the affected muscles. Nerve Entrapment Syndromes also respond well to positional release therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy which work with the body’s nervous system to release muscles and improve joint movement in the area. In addition to working on the muscles entrapping a nerve or nerve root it may be necessary to provide therapy for other muscles and soft tissues nearby and even to opposing muscles to improve muscular balance. Comprehensive treatment with massage and bodywork, in conjunction with a home program of stretching and exercise, usually helps to completely resolve Nerve Entrapment Syndromes.

Other Treatments For Nerve Entrapment Syndromes

While massage therapy and bodywork are an excellent treatment for Nerve Entrapment Syndromes, the serious nature of these conditions means that there are other additional treatments you should discuss with your physician:

Anti-inflammatory medications
Muscle Relaxer medications
Anesthetic and Steroid Injections
Splints
Surgery

Other Names For Nerve Entrapment Syndromes

Pinched Nerve
Nerve Entrapment Neuropathy

The information in this article has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Nerve Entrapment Syndromes. If you feel that you have the symptoms of a Nerve Entrapment Syndrome please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. There are a number of more serious conditions that resemble Nerve Entrapment Syndromes that could require immediate medical attention.

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2 Comments »

  • senseoftouchmassage said:

    Great article! I know from personal experience how painful nerve entrapment can be. One of the absolute best treatments is by working with a massage therapist. I don’t say that because I am a massage therapist but because I became a massage therapist after finding relief from one. http://senseoftouchmassage.massagetherapy.com

  • allismtc said:

    This article was very helpful in the way that it describes nerve entrapment syndrom. I am always looking for better ways to explain this to my clients and also how massage does help. I like the way this article does advise clients to see there physicians as well, but as far as muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory meds go they more or less cover up the situation than help it.

    http://www.allisonsmagicmassage.com

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