“Pain is your friend; it is your ally. Pain reminds you to finish the job and get the hell home. Pain tells you when you have been seriously wounded. And you know what the best thing about pain is? It tells you you’re not dead yet!” – Unknown
Pain of any kind is never really enjoyable.
There are “good” kinds of pain, perhaps, like the temporary pain and discomfort that we suffer after finishing a grueling workout or 5K race. Or the pain of childbirth. And even the pain of doing some unpleasant task that we’ve put off but have finally accomplished.
But neuropathy and neuropathic pain is never good.
Taking a Look at Peripheral Neuropathy and Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is the result of peripheral neuropathy, which is the result of damage to the nerves located outside of the brain and spinal cord, also known as peripheral nerves.
In most people, it is a pain condition that’s usually lingering and is typically caused by a chronic, progressive nerve disease. People suffering from peripheral neuropathy generally describe the pain as stabbing, burning, or tingling.
While peripheral neuropathy can result from infections, metabolic problems, inherited causes, traumatic injuries, and even exposure to toxins, it is believed that the most common cause is diabetes.
In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic,
“About 30% of all nerve pain (neuropathic pain) happens because of diabetes, but other diseases like alcoholism and shingles can cause neuropathic pain. Treatment might include medicines, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and even surgery… It is not always easy to tell the source of the neuropathic pain. There are hundreds of diseases that are linked to this kind of pain.”
They also note that peripheral nerve pain occurs when damaged nerve fibers send the wrong signals to pain centers. Nerve function may change at the site of the nerve damage, as well as areas in the central nervous system.
However, another common cause is compressed nerves resulting from nerve compression syndrome.
Nerve Compression Syndromes and Peripheral Neuropathy
Although the term “nerve compression syndrome” may be unfamiliar to most of us, the condition is not.
Nerve compression syndromes are typically the result of pressure on a peripheral nerve. For example, the most common type is carpal tunnel syndrome. Other types include sciatica and ulnar nerve entrapment, or compression of the ulnar nerve through the elbow joint.
[Image courtesy of HealthDirect.gov.au]
Repetitive movements can often lead to pinched nerves and resulting neuropathy. This can also result in limb weakness, numbness, sharp pain, or tingling. While some “at-home” self-treatments provide relief from these symptoms, the cause of the compression and the pain is usually not addressed.
According to one source,
“A nerve compression syndrome can occur when there’s pressure on nerves in the peripheral nervous system. These nerves connect to parts of your body (like your hands and feet) that are farther away from the central nervous system (like your brain and spine).
Nerve compression syndromes are a common cause of nerve (neuropathic) pain in the limbs. They can lead to a pinched nerve and neuropathy (nerve damage).”
Common nerve compression syndromes leading to neuropathy pain that can affect your upper limbs include:
- Suprascapular nerve entrapment in your shoulder.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrist.
- Pronator teres syndrome, or the median nerve in your elbow.
- Radial tunnel syndrome, or pressure on the radial nerve in your elbow.
Additionally, nerve compression syndromes can affect your lower limbs, as well, such as:
- Meralgia paresthetica, which is pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in your thigh.
- Peroneal nerve compression of the peroneal nerve in your lower leg.
- Pudendal nerve entrapment syndrome, a trapped pudendal nerve in your pelvic area.
- Sciatica in your lower back, hips, buttocks, or legs.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome resulting from tibial nerve damage in your heel or sole of your foot.
The good news concerning these various types of nerve compression syndromes, whether from an acute injury or from progressive damage resulting from prolonged repetitive movements, is that they can usually be treated successfully without medications or surgery.
Neuropathy and Active Release Techniques®
Through the use of the unique fascial release therapy known as Active Release Techniques® or ART®, it is possible to help release nerves that have become impinged or entrapped by the fascia, or connective tissue.
Active Release Techniques® successfully treats peripheral nerve entrapments by utilizing what we refer to as “Long Tract Nerve Entrapment Protocols.”
Over the years, ART® has become the “Gold Standard” for soft tissue treatments, as one practitioner puts it, and has become the preferred treatment for world-class athletes across the globe.
The Active Release website describes the therapy simply as,
“A non-invasive treatment system precisely engineered to locate and quickly resolve soft-tissue disorders.”
And Men’s Health magazine had this to say about the efficacy of Active Release Techniques®,
“Other forms of hands-on therapy – myofascial release, chiropractic, whatever – all work. But we’re talking about fishing 95 percent of problems in four visits, versus 50 percent of them in 30 visits.”
In a nutshell, Active Release Techniques® is used to effectively treat overuse and repetitive injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint dysfunction, and nerve compression injuries such as ulnar nerve entrapment, sciatica, and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Treating Compressed Nerves and Neuropathic Pain with Pain and Performance Solutions
If you are suffering from recurring or chronic nerve pain, your next step should be to make an appointment with Pain and Performance Solutions.
Whether you’ve been suffering from nerve pain for a long time or have just begun to realize that it’s not letting up, give us a call. Effective chronic pain relief can only begin once we gain an in-depth understanding of when and how your pain started.
We will work with you during your first appointment to learn about your present symptoms as well as any history of discomfort.
At Pain and Performance Solutions we specialize in bringing relief from chronic pain with therapies such as Active Release Techniques® (ART®), as well as Anatomy in Motion (AiM) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA™). And it all begins once we understand what is causing your pain.
A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.
Don’t simply ignore your nerve pain and hope it will eventually go away. Let us help!