Physiotherapy Clinic

Identifying And Treating Pain From Nerve Tension

What is nerve tension?

Nerve tension is pain that happens when a nerve is being compressed or stuck in its surrounding tissue. Nerves lie in tracts in which they need to freely move. When they don’t move freely they can become traction or pulled during movement which leads to irritation. This can happen for a variety of reasons. If a joint has been immobile for a period of time it increases the risk that a nerve can get a little stuck due to the prolonged lack of motion. Sometimes there is no known reason at all.

How does this cause pain?

Pain can occur for several reasons. The first is because inflammation in the surrounding tissue can cause compression of the nerve. This can send signals to your brain indicating pain at the site of inflammation. Pain can also be due to hypersensitivity of a nerve. This is when the nerve sends signals to your brain indicating pain with movement that is not usually painful. Finally, pain can also occur if the nerve is getting stuck in the tract that it normally glides in. This prevents the nerve from moving freely and can limit that amount of motion allowed at a joint.

What are the symptoms? Some common symptoms can be a burning or tingling sensation in positions that elongate or stretch the nerve. A feeling of heaviness or weakness can also be caused by a problem with nerve tension. Even a decrease in the range of motion of a joint can sometimes stem from a nerve tension issue.
A fall on the bum,  or trauma to the head or the spine, or simply long term muscle tension anywhere along the spine, can result in symptoms as varied as digestive issues, nausea, vomiting, urinary tract issues, difficulty swallowing,  impaired breathing, headaches, clouded thinking, memory issues, mood changes, vision problems, difficulty with movement of any part of the body, and various aches or pains, among others.  While the body appears to recover from all sorts of small and big accidents throughout life, its tissues become distorted over time and may hold this distortion, manifesting in chronic pain or discomfort.

How is this treated?

This can be treated by improving the ability of the nerve to glide in its tract.  Nerves cannot be stretched in the same way muscles can be. They instead just slide through a tract all throughout your body. So to help them move better you can moving body parts on both ends of the nerve to help “floss” it back and forth through its tract. This helps it to move more freely along its normal path.

Talk to your chiropractor about nerve tension if you think this might relate to you.