02 May Nerve Entrapment: When a Nerve Gets “Glued” to a Muscle
Not all numbness and tingling is coming from the spine (hint: a nerve entrapment can happen anywhere a nerve passes through other tissue).
Nor is the carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosis always coming from the carpal tunnel (another hint: the location of symptoms, while helpful, does not always convey location of the problem).
In the below video, Dr. William Brady of Integrative Diagnosis shows how the median nerve becomes entrapped and “glued” to the pronator teres, preventing the nerve from sliding and potentially causing carpal tunnel syndrome nerve symptoms in front of the wrist, hand, and fingers.
How do you know where your nerve is stuck?
Key to discovering where your nerve is stuck is what you are doing when your symptoms are provoked, intensified, and increased.
Take carpal tunnel syndrome.
If your symptoms worsen when typing, the location could be the carpal tunnel or pronator teres.
If your symptoms worsen when cutting hair, the location is at pronator teres because your carpal tunnel is bigger than usual and wouldn’t worsen without pressure at the tunnel.
If your symptoms worsen with direct pressure to the carpal tunnel while your forearm is inactive, the location is the carpal tunnel.
What should you do if you have a nerve entrapment?
If a nerve stretches more than 15%, it loses blood flow and expresses itself with tingling. If it goes along long enough, tingling (feeling something) turns into numbness (feeling nothing).
Generally speaking, nerve entrapments at the spinal cord cause nerve “pain” and are considered rather intense. Sciatica coming from the spine tends to stop people in their tracks. Sciatica entrapped at the piriformis and other external rotators can fly under the radar for years before it ever rears its ugly head.
We’re not discussing spinal nerve entrapments here.
If your nerve has been irritated long enough to express symptoms though, it’s absolutely time to find guidance and care.
Here is the real testimony of one of our patients who suffered too long. While surgery helped address one of her dysfunction blocks, it didn’t address all of them:
I have suffered with lower back pain for over 40 years and have been to many chiropractors in my lifetime. Dr. Chris Stepien of Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic is actually the Best Chiropractor I have ever been to. His specialty in Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.) is amazing. This technique is the only thing that helps my back along with exercises Dr. Chris recommends. In addition, I also suffer with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in both hands and actually had surgery on one of my hands. The symptoms returned a few years later. Dr. Chris uses A.R.T. technique, which has greatly improved my hands. My hands no longer go numb at night. I now can sleep all night long with no medication, no back pain or numbness in my hands. Dr. Chris is a “Hands On Chiropractor” and he is “One of a Kind”. I would highly recommend him to all.
Linda C. (age 46)
Morris Township, NJ
A skilled diagnostician and manual therapist will be able to feel the various areas to determine “amount of stuckness” (yes, that’s a technical term), diagnose your condition, reproduce the symptoms with tests, communicate where your nerve is entrapped based on the provocative movement, and begin to ease your symptoms in 3-5 visits when the nerve has not been irritated for long. If you’ve ignored your nerves’ cries for help for a long time, recovery time and expectation of response to treatment can double or triple.
Lesson of the day: Respect your nerves.