I’ve been focusing on the clinical aspects of massage therapy for almost ten years, and of those ten years two of them were dedicated to teaching it. I also personally experienced a literal nerve injury which significantly impacted anything, and I mean anything that I did for the better part of a year. So trust me, if you think you have a pinched a nerve then you’ve just piqued my interest.
When patients come in and tell me they’ve pinched a nerve, it’s often accompanied with a description of an actual pinching sensation in a specific area of the body. The good news here is if that’s your only symptom then it’s probably not.
Nerves are covered with something called epineurium which is the outter covering that helps keep the inner parts together, if your nerve is going to be physically assaulted then this is the first area where it will happen.
Pinching a nerve is actually kind of a hard thing to do, but it’s not impossible, a considerable amount of factors need to be contemplated and present for this happen.
When it comes to your PNS (peripheral nervous system), it’s more likely for a nerve to be compressed, or under go some sort of shearing or torsional movement, such as a nerve rubbing against a bone or muscle; giving it a sort of microscopic carpet burn. If this happens then a person would likely experience an altered perspective of sensation, or a loss of function or strength, sometimes both but pain is typically a secondary complication.
For example, the nerves that run down into your hand come from the side of the bones in your neck, and as they travel they wind up, down, through and across lots of structures before they reach the end of your finger tips. If anything happens to them along the way your ability to grasp with your hand may unintentionally give out on you. Have you ever lost your grip while putting something away on a high shelf? Sure, it could be an accident, maybe you’re just clutsy, or maybe the nerves responsible for moving the muscles in your hand have lost a degree of its optimal function. Similarly, a person might feel that a specific part of their hand is cold or achy, but not necessarily painful, at least not to the point where it’s a problem. Symptoms like these are often quite gradual and can be challenging to perceive if you don’t know what to look for.
The feedback that you get which tells you what part of your body is sore simply isn’t reliable when it comes to nerve injuries, so that pinching you’re experiencing is likely caused by a problem in your muscles or your joints, which by the way, are exactly the type of injuries that massage therapists like myself love to treat.