Upper Limb Nerve Tension
Also known as neurodynamic dysfunction, is a condition where there is an abnormal pressure or tension on the nerves that run through the upper limbs. This pressure can cause pain, weakness, and numbness in the arms, wrists, and hands. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as repetitive motions, trauma, or posture-related issues.
In this blog post, we will discuss the common signs and symptoms of upper limb nerve tension, how it can be treated, and the latest scientific research on the topic.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of upper limb nerve tension can vary depending on the location and severity of the nerve compression. Common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the upper limbs. These symptoms may worsen with certain activities or positions, such as typing or holding a phone for a long period of time. Other symptoms can include muscle weakness, loss of grip strength, and difficulty with fine motor skills such as buttoning a shirt.
Treatment for upper limb nerve tension typically involves a combination of physiotherapy and medication. Physiotherapy may include exercises to stretch and strengthen the affected muscles, as well as manual therapy techniques such as mobilisation and massage. Other modalities such as acupuncture may also be helpful in reducing pain and promoting healing.
In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage pain and inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms.
Recent scientific research has shown that a combination of physiotherapy and medication can be effective in treating upper limb nerve tension. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy found that a combination of nerve gliding exercises and medication was effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, a type of nerve compression that can cause upper limb nerve tension.
Another study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy in 2015 found that manual therapy techniques such as mobilization and massage were effective in reducing pain and improving function in patients with upper limb nerve tension caused by repetitive strain injuries.
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- Akalin E, El O, Peker O, et al. Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome with nerve and tendon gliding exercises. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;81(2):108-113.
- Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Cleland JA, Palacios-Ceña M, et al. Effectiveness of manual therapy versus surgery in pain processing due to carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized clinical trial. J Pain. 2015;16(11):1087-1094.
- Piquero-Casals J, Piquero-Casals J, Piquero-Casals I, et al. Effectiveness of manual therapy for treating upper limb neurodynamic dysfunction: a systematic review. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2015;45(7):512-522.