Nerve entrapment: Introduction
Nerve entrapment is the result of a variety of nerve entrapment syndromes Nerve entrapment occurs when a nerve entrapment syndrome causes a nerve or nerves to become pinched or compressed. Nerve entrapment results in abnormal functioning of the nerve. Typical symptoms of nerve entrapment include numbness, pain, and loss of function of the affected area.
The function of the nerves of the body is to transmit sensations and other information from the body to the spinal cord and brain and carry messages back from the brain to the body. There are a variety of conditions that can cause nerve entrapment and interfere with normal functioning of nerves.
Common conditions that cause nerve entrapment include carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome, which affect the forearm, wrists and hands. Pudendal nerve entrapment causes nerve entrapment in the pelvis, and affects that urinary system and reproductive system. Slipped disc, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis can cause nerve entrapment in the spine.
The way that nerve entrapment affects people varies widely, depending on the specific cause, the nerves affected, severity, age, general health and other factors. Typical symptoms include burning, numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness of the affected area. More severe permanent complications may also occur. For additional symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of nerve entrapment.
People at risk for nerve entrapment include those who frequently engage in repetitive, strenuous actions or jarring of the hands and wrists, such as keyboarding, sewing, or using a jack hammer. These activities can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar tunnel syndrome. People at risk for developing slipped disc, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis include older adults and the elderly, people with osteoporosis, who are overweight or obese, or have strained or injured the back. People at risk for developing pudendal nerve entrapment, which affects the pelvis, urinary system and reproductive system, include pregnant women and people who bicycle for prolonged periods of time.
Other risk factors for developing nerve entrapment include having rheumatoid arthritis, menopause, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and acromegaly. These conditions can result in compression of a nerve by causing fluid retention, swelling, or abnormal bone anatomy.
Making a diagnosis of nerve entrapment begins with taking a thorough medical history, including symptoms and the types of activities a person is performing often that may lead to nerve entrapment. A physical and thorough neurological examination is also done. This includes having the patient perform certain movements to see if they result in pain or numbness.
Diagnostic testing may include special tests that test the nerves and muscles. These include an electromyography, which tests muscles movement, and a nerve conduction velocity test, which identifies how fast nerves conduct electrical impulses.
Medical testing may also include tests that can help determine any underlying medical disease or conditions, such as an X-ray, which can reveal a bone fracture, which may cause nerve entrapment. Blood tests may be done to rule-out or diagnose other conditions that can lead to nerve entrapment, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
It is possible that a diagnosis of nerve entrapment can be missed or delayed because early symptoms can be mild or similar to symptoms of other conditions, such as bursitis. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic nerve entrapment, refer to misdiagnosis of nerve entrapment.
Treatment for nerve entrapment varies depending on the type of nerve affected, the severity of symptoms, the presence of complications, a person's age and medical history, and the type of work and activities a person does. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce symptoms and permanent complications, such as disability. Treatment options include modifying activities, orthopedic devices, medication, physical therapy, occupational therapy and surgery. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of nerve entrapment. ...more »
Nerve entrapment: Compression of a nerve that becomes trapped in a confined space due to any cause e.g. trauma, inflammation or a disease process. This usually occurs near joints. The resulting pressure on the nerve can be very painful and if left untreated can result in damage to the nerve and eventually muscle weakness and wasting. Conditions such as bone spurs, joint swelling due to injury, cysts and trauma can result in nerve entrapment. The exact symptoms will depend on which nerve is trapped and the duration and severity of the entrapment.
More detailed information about the symptoms,
causes, and treatments of Nerve entrapment is available below.
Nerve entrapment: Symptoms
The types and severity of symptoms of nerve entrapment vary between individuals and the specific type of nerve or nerves that are affected. In many cases, symptoms can be vague and develop slowly, such as in carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms can also occur more rapidly and dramatically.
General symptoms of nerve entrapment due to carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar tunnel syndrome may include ...more symptoms »
Nerve entrapment: Treatments
With early recognition and treatment, it may be possible in some cases to reverse the symptoms of nerve entrapment before permanent damage occurs. The first step in treatment is prevention. The most successful treatment and prevention plans use a multipronged approach.
Prevention of pudendal nerve entrapment includes ensuring that bicyclists use a properly shaped and ...more treatments »
Nerve entrapment: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of nerve entrapment may be delayed or missed because early symptoms, such as pain, tingling, burning and weakness, may develop slowly over weeks or months. Symptoms of nerve entrapment are also similar to symptoms of other common conditions and diseases. These include aging, arthritis, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, bursitis, back strain, diabetic ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Nerve entrapment
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symptoms of Nerve entrapment
Treatments for Nerve entrapment
- Physiotherapy, medication e.g. anti-inflammatories and painkillers, surgery
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Home Diagnostic Testing
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Nerve entrapment: Complications
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Causes of Nerve entrapment
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Nerve entrapment: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Nerve entrapment
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Nerve entrapment: Research Doctors & Specialists
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Evidence Based Medicine Research for Nerve entrapment
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Nerve entrapment: Broader Related Topics
Types of Nerve entrapment
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