Our bodies are mainly made up of bones, joints and muscle. However, a key system that works within our bodies are the nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for making our whole body function the way it does as it involves the brain. The nervous system helps different parts of our body communicate as well as allowing our brain to control what’s going on.
In essence, nerves are like wires that carry communication signals or impulses around the body. There are 2 main types of nerves: motor nerves and sensory nerves. Motor nerves allow the brain to control our muscles (either to expand or contract), so we can move. Sensory nerves on the other hand, carry signals to the brain to tell it about what is going on in the outside world. These can come from our skin (touch), eyes (sight), tongue (taste), nose (smell) and ears (hear).
In each case, the signals only go one direction. The motor nerve signals travel from the brain to the muscles, whereas the sensory nerve signals travel from the senses to the brain.
Now that we’ve given a brief background to what our nervous system is and does, we will attempt to explain a little bit more to what happens when there is a problem when the signals are blocked or restricted.
The nervous system is very extensive and although protected by different structures within the body, each individual nerve can actually move. Like an elastic band, our nerves have the ability to slide and “glide”. Much like stretching out a muscle when it’s tight, nerves can also be “stretched” (but not literally) when it’s tight, to help improve the movement of the nerves throughout your muscles or joints.
When nerves are tight, it could be due to staying in a prolonged position or due to the tightening of the muscles around the nerves. Some common symptoms of a tight nerve could be experienced for example when you’re seated for long periods (long haul flight, long movie, desk-bound work), turning of your head in certain positions (reverse parking, sleeping) or when working on a keyboard for long hours.
Nerves, like any other structure in our bodies, need a constant flow of oxygenated blood in order to sustain its function. When a nerve is tight and being compressed by its surrounding structure for a period of time, the blood supply to the nerve is reduced. When that happens, the nerve will become sensitive and it will start to give rise to some of the symptoms mentioned earlier. However, sensations that include pain, feeling of pins and needles, numbness and tingling as well as overall weakness to a specific muscle area may also suggest of a tight or compressed nerve. Nerve stretches can reduce the tightness in the nerves and also help relieve pain that is associated with tight nerves.
Neurodynamic Solutions (NDS) is a set specific technique that is developed based on the understanding of anatomy and physiology of the nerves. By using this technique, our practitioners will be able to detect the structure that is obstructing or restricting the blood flow and responsible for the symptoms. It is a conservative, non-invasive way of treatment that aims to stretch (and mobilise) the nerve, improve blood flow to the affected nerve and reduce the sensitivity of nerve to allow better movement to take place.
For more specific conditions where individuals have benefited from the neurodynamic technique include (but not limited to):
- cervical/ lumbar disc injury with radiculopathy symptoms
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome
If you or someone you know is presenting with these symptoms and would like a consultation with one of our team members to see if they could benefit from the neurodynamic technique, do contact us for an appointment. It’s always good to know what is going on even if you’re seeking a 2nd or 3rd opinion, that way you’ll be able to make an informed decision of what you can do next to address your issue(s).
**Disclaimer from our practitioners:
Do take note that nerve related conditions are complex and usually requires various intervention from a multi-disciplinary team. The aim of this post is to shed light into the mechanical aspect of nerve and common activities that may contribute to develop neural symptoms. Kindly consult your physician or certified health care professional for more nerve related information.