What are nerve clamps

Social Association VdK Germany e.V.

Pinched nerve: what to do?

An expert from the professional association for orthopedics and trauma surgery advises movement, warmth, manual therapy and osteopathy

Restriction of movement, tingling sensations, and numbness are typical signs that a nerve is pinched. Most commonly, the neck, back, shoulders, or arms are affected. The VdK-ZEITUNG spoke to Dr. Arne-Björn Jäger, expert from the Professional Association for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery e. V. (BVOU) on symptoms and treatment options.

What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is the compression or narrowing of nerve tissue. This can be a so-called peripheral nerve or a nerve root. Peripheral nerves are nerves that are located outside the brain and spinal cord and supply the tissues in the body. Nerve roots belong to the spinal cord and are protected by the vertebrae. They are the entry and exit points of nerves that lie on either side of each segment of the spine.

How does a pinched nerve make itself felt?

The affected nerve is restricted in its function. Depending on the supply area of ​​the nerve, pain, sensory disturbances or restrictions in muscle function can occur. Anatomically, the changes can always be precisely assigned to a peripheral nerve or a nerve root. If a nerve root is acutely narrowed, the pain is radiated along the nerve fibers that pull from the root into the body. At the same time, the perception of feeling on the supplied skin area and the supplied muscles are disturbed. One example is the sciatic nerve. The pain extends from the lower back over the buttocks to the foot. Sensory disturbances along the nerve path up to the sole of the foot and weakness in the lowering of the foot can occur.

How are the complaints expressed?

Acute constriction of the nerve root or peripheral nerve may cause severe pain that may be stabbing, electrifying, or burning. In addition, abnormal sensations such as tingling, pins and needles or numbness can occur. The symptoms can occur depending on movement and can be aggravated by pressing, sneezing or coughing.

What are the causes?

The compression of a nerve root can be triggered by a herniated disc. Due to wear processes, increasing tissue overgrowth in the ligament structures and the spinal joints can cause chronic narrowing of the nerve canal and the nerve exit points from the spine.

How can you release the pinched nerve?

The affected person unconsciously and spontaneously assumes a gentle posture in order to relieve the painful region. This in turn results in a one-sided load, which leads to painful muscle tension and restricted movement. At the beginning of the symptoms, the pain stimulus must be relieved in order to keep moving. Heat treatment, massage and gymnastics affect the muscles and should be used in such a way that they do not aggravate or trigger the symptoms. Important: keep moving. Because limited movement is a first factor in the development of a chronic pain syndrome. If a blockage in the spine is diagnosed as the cause, measures such as manual therapy or osteopathy can help. If a myofascial pain syndrome also forms, manual trigger point treatment or fascia therapy can also be carried out.

Interview: Petra J. Huschke