A ‘trapped nerve’ describes compression on the nerve, usually due to pressure applied by the surrounding tissue, muscle, tendon or bone. This can present as pain in the neck and shoulder, back, legs, arms and wrists. Common examples include; bulging of the spinal discs and carpel tunnel syndrome. In other less serious causes it can be due to muscle spasm or other mechanical factors.
The resulting pressure results in inflammation of the nerves giving rise to pain in the area which may radiates to other parts of the body, numbness and tingling, burning sensation and weakness. Once the pressure is relieved the nerve function recovers, but with chronic pain permanent nerve damage can occur.
At the Integrated Health Clinic cases of pain caused by nerve compression are quite common. Most present with severe almost agonising pain. There is limited or very little relief from pain killers, they are unable to sit, lie down or walk without discomfort, unable to adequately perform daily activities, have to take time off work and a good night’s sleep has become a distant memory. Where the problem is muscular Acupuncture can be used effectively for pain relief, reduce inflammation and easing the muscle spasm.
Acupuncture works by stimulating the ‘Qi’ (vital energy) to flow properly within the impaired qi pathways known as ‘meridians’. Needles help to release neurochemicals such as endorphins which change the way pain is processed in the brain and spinal cord, as well as release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors that reduce inflammation. As a standard the clinic also uses heat treatment some soft tissue manipulation such as massage or cupping to reduce soft tissue constraints, tension and enhance blood flow. Our experience shows that a combined integrative treatment approach greatly enhances the overall outcome.
After suffering from agonising and tearful shoulder pain, a client recently received a combined acupuncture and massage treatment, along with electro-acupuncture which involves the use of electrical needle stimulation. Not only did their pain symptoms and numbness significantly improve but they were pleasantly surprised that their mood was considerably uplifted. Their feedback was…. “I feel so much happier”. This is a welcome and inevitable effect of acupuncture, confirming results from many scientific studies that it benefits not just the physical but also the mental and emotional.
To learn more about how acupuncture or a combined treatment can help you, call or book an appointment.