Trapped Nerves

Osteopathy for Trapped Nerves

Trapped, or impinged nerves most commonly occur in the neck or low back. They are generally caused by compression or irritation of the nerves as they exit the spinal column and can send pain, tingling and numbness down the arms or legs.

The Good News!

More often than not, what patients think is a ‘trapped nerve’ turns out to be pain resulting from an acute muscle spasm or joint strain in the neck or low back which may also be referring pain into the arms or legs. 

How do I know if I have a trapped nerve?

There are varying degrees to which nerves can become trapped although all are likely to be fairly painful. In addition to pain felt at the sight of the nerve entrapment – either in the neck or low back – patients will also experience additional signs or symptoms into the arm or leg such as:

Shooting pain

Electric shock type pain

Deep throbbing pain

Pins and needles

Numbness or loss of sensation


What are the causes?

Trapped nerves can be caused when one of the discs in the spine has become disrupted and impinges onto the nerves as they exit the spinal column. This is more common in the low back but can also happen in the neck.

Trapped nerves can also be caused by damage to the nerves or nerve roots as a result of a traumatic event – for example when the nerve root is stretched in a rugby tackle injury where the neck is side-bent too far away from the shoulder causing damage to the nerves exiting the spine on that side. 

Nerves can also be trapped, or impinged, in the shoulder, buttock or leg as they pass through muscles that have gone into spasm. The spasming muscles irritate the nerve, causing pain.

How can we help?

There are many degrees to which a nerve can become trapped or impinged however in most cases, depending on the extent of the injury, these conditions respond well to osteopathic treatment.

We use a combination of gentle articulation, massage, and manipulation techniques, along with other modalities such as acupuncture, ultrasound and kinesio-taping, in order to reduce pain and muscle spasm, facilitate healing and restore the range of movement to the area.

Our clinic based in Chatteris covers areas including March, Ely, Wisbech, Huntingdon, St Ives & Whittlesey and beyond.

Want to know more?

Contact us now to book a free 15-minute chat with one of our expert practitioners to see how we could help you.

Need help? Call us on 01354 694050 or book online here