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Nerve Entrapment Syndromes And Massage Therapy

Dec 4, 2007
In my San Antonio, Texas based Massage Therapy and Bodywork practice I often treat men and women who are experiencing pain from various nerve entrapment syndromes. Like many painful conditions involving the body's soft tissues, nerve entrapment syndromes respond quite well to massage therapy and bodywork.

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.

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.

If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of your particular Nerve Entrapment Syndrome with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice or contact a Massage Therapist near you.
About the Author
Ben Crabtree is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Massage Instructor, and Certified Neuromuscular Therapist in San Antonio, Texas. See his site at MassageByBen.com or find Massage Therapists worldwide at MassageSoup.
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