When a nerve is compressed, it can cause all sorts of issues throughout the body. The nerve will cause pain through different parts of the body, depending on the actual nerve affected. Finding the nerve causing the issue is the best way for us to fix pain in the body.
Nerve compression syndrome or compression neuropathy, also known as entrapment neuropathy, is a medical condition caused by direct pressure on a nerve. It is known colloquially as a trapped nerve, though this may also refer to nerve root compression (by a herniated disc, for example). Its symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness. The symptoms affect just one particular part of the body, depending on which nerve is affected. Nerve conduction studies help to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, surgery may help to relieve the pressure on the nerve but this does not always relieve all the symptoms. Nerve injury by a single episode of physical trauma is in one sense a compression neuropathy but is not usually included under this heading.
A nerve may be compressed by prolonged or repeated external force, such as sitting with one’s arm over the back of a chair (radial nerve), frequently resting one’s elbows on a table (ulnar nerve), or an ill-fitting cast or brace on the leg (peroneal nerve).Part of the patient’s body can cause the compression and the term entrapment neuropathy is used particularly in this situation. The offending structure may be a well-defined lesion such as a tumor (for example a lipoma, neurofibroma or metastasis), a ganglion cyst or a haematoma. Alternatively, there may be expansion of the tissues around a nerve in a space where there is little room for this to occur, as is often the case in carpal tunnel syndrome. This may be due to weight gain or peripheral oedema (especially in pregnancy), or to a specific condition such as acromegaly, hypothyroidism or scleroderma and psoriasis.
Some conditions cause nerves to be particularly susceptible to compression. These include diabetes, in which the blood supply to the nerves is already compromised, rendering the nerve more sensitive to minor degrees of compression. The genetic condition HNPP is a much rarer cause.
Migraines are also caused by nerve compression. The headaches are caused by pinched nerves in the neck, which can come from a variety of places, including improper posture, sitting too much, or an accident or injury. Peripheral nerve surgery can reduce or eliminate migraine pain.
If you have migraine issues, please call Neuropax Clinic at 314-434-7784 or visit www.neuropaxclinic.com for more information.