Mobilizing Nerves: How Does That Work?


Dr. John De Noyelles, PT, OCS, CSCS

We strengthen, stretch and massage our muscles.  Dry skin is moisturized.  We load our bones and feed our organs.  Nerves are extremely important structures in our body.  What do we do for them?  Not much… at least not intentionally.  Nerves require clear paths to and from our brain and spinal cord to their many destinations including those previously mentioned muscles, skin, bones and organs.  Without nerves those structures can’t function.

If nerve paths are restricted then a little extra pinch or stretch may occur on the nerve itself.  Blood flow to the nerve may also be effected.  Nerves are blood thirsty as they have huge requirements for oxygen and nutrients.  Lack of steady flow will likely impact the nerve.  The result of all of this includes pain, burning, numbness, tingling, weakness and feelings of tightness.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a typical example.

So how do you know if a nerve(s) is not as mobile as it should be and is contributing to your issue?  That requires a proper physical examination with a healthcare provider versed in Neurodynamics (otherwise know as neural tension).  Once mobility restrictions are found they can be addressed.  Basically, it comes down to clearing the tissue restriction followed by a movement to reinforce proper mobility of the nerve in its path.

Don’t worry.  Nerve mobility restrictions are common and not a permanent condition.  However, involvement is often missed and/or not understood.



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