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Trapped Nerves

One of the most common reason people phone Worcester Chiropractic Clinic is for treatment of a trapped nerve.

On examination, however, an overwhelming proportion of these patients turn out not to have a trapped nerve. The lesson here is that a trapped nerve is far less common than you might think.

Often people attribute sharp or sudden onset pain to a trapped nerve, however the reality is that trapped nerves give a wide variety of symptoms. More likely than sharp pain is pins and needles, numbness, or dull aching.

Although the term trapped nerve is not a medical diagnosis but a colloquialism, it is a relatively apt description. Nerves pass between muscles, bones, organs and other tissues, and any swelling, tightness or displacement of these structures leads to an increased physical pressure on the adjacent nerve.

Causes of a trapped nerve vary from tumours to osteoarthritis, underlining the necessity for a proper examination, but poor posture is the most frequent origin.


trapped nerve in back
Trapped nerve in a lumbar spine caused by degenerative changes

The most common place in the body to trap a nerve is as it exits the spine. This is due to the complex arrangement of the vertebral segments and the narrow exit "foramina" that nerves must pass through. In the lower back this might be labelled sciatica.

Other diagnoses that come under the trapped nerve bracket include piriformis syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome.

Treatment for trapped nerves is dependent on the exact cause, but where there are no disease factors involved chiropractic treatment is very useful. This is made up of a wide variety of treatment techniques to suit each individual case.

Conditions Treated