How a Trapped Nerve Happens at Your Neck, Shoulders, and Arms
Many people don’t know this, but nerves travel ALL throughout your body. Think of all the nerves in your body like a giant map. There are indeed a vast number of them in your body traveling all over. To get an idea of how widespread nerves are in your body, take a look at the picture below.
As you can see, even with only your nervous system showing, you can still make out a human form! Your spinal cord itself exits from your brain first. Then, virtually all the other nerves in your body originate from your spinal cord.
Perhaps you are wondering right now, “Okay, that’s great, but why should I give a DAMN about nerves?!” Well, you should care because nerves are how your body communicates with your brain and vice versa. Essentially, nerves signal to your brain if something is hot, cold, painful, etc. In the other direction, your brain signals your muscles to move through your nerves. So if your brain wants your body to jump, it will be through a nerve signal that the muscles will make that happen!
Reasons for a Trapped Nerve
The most common cause for getting a trapped nerve, in general, is through bad posture. By having bad posture, your muscles can get tight, your joints can get stiff, and your nerves can get pinched. For example, a muscle being very tight in your shoulder could bind down a nerve. The same thing can happen at your arm, wrist, back, leg, etc. So, in a general sense, you are going to want to fix your posture. A traumatic injury can also cause a trapped nerve, like a bad fall. Essentially, a nerve is trapped, or pinched, when something is pressing on it, like in the picture below.
Nerve Pain Symptoms
Remember how I mentioned nerves travel all throughout your body? This is a big thing to consider, because if a nerve is trapped somewhere, it can refer pain beyond its point of entrapment. For example, let’s say a nerve is running out of your spinal cord, to your shoulder, down your arm, and to your hand. Let’s say that due to bad posture and muscle tightness, your nerve is being pinched at your shoulder. Because this nerve travels all the way down to your hand, this nerve can refer pain signals all the way down there!
This obviously is not good, because nerve pain symptoms can feel terrible! Nerve pain symptoms can include pain, tingling, numbness, a burning sensation, and muscle weakness. So where a nerve travels to, all these things can be experienced if that nerve is being pinched!
Hopefully now you understand more about nerves and how they get entrapped. Now, let’s delve into more specifics.
Read More Below…
How Tight Scalene Muscles Cause a Trapped Nerve in Your Neck
Your scalene muscles are 3 muscles found on the side of both sides of your neck. Their job is to flex your head sideways. They also elevate your 1st rib, allowing you to take more air in. As I explain in my video below, these muscles can get tight from stress and forward head posture. Both things can shorten these muscles.
Shortness in your scalene muscles is significant because you have a nerve bundle running through your front and middle scalene. When your scalenes are tight, these nerves can get trapped.
When the scalene muscles are causing a trapped nerve in your neck, nerve pain can occur all the way down to your hand! So, you will want to address this issue.
In my video below, I will go into more detail about this issue and what you can do about it.
I show a few stretches in this video. You should have NO PAIN when you do them!
How the Pronator Teres Muscle Causes a Trapped Nerve in the Arm
One nerve in your body, the Median Nerve, is a major cause for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Usually, this nerve gets trapped at your wrist, causing Carpal Tunnel. However, this nerve can get trapped further up your arm. One location where this nerve can get pinched is your Pronator Teres Muscle. This is a muscle located at your forearm, as you can see in the picture below.
As I explain in my video below, Pronator Teres Syndrome causes you to get a trapped nerve in your forearm. When this happens, you can get nerve pain from your forearm all the way down into your fingers. Here in my video, I’ll explain this in much more detail and what you can do about it.
I show one stretch in this video. You should have NO PAIN when you do it!
How a Tight Pec Minor Muscle Causes a Trapped Nerve in Your Shoulder
Most people do not even know that you have a chest muscle called the Pectoralis Minor. The Pectoralis Minor is a short chest muscle that often becomes very tight, particularly due to poor posture. Remember how up above I discussed how a nerve bundle can get entrapped in your scalene muscles? Well, that same nerve bundle can get entrapped underneath the Pec Minor tendon. This will then lead to those nerve pain symptoms going all the way down your shoulder to your arm. In my video below, I will discuss this topic in much greater detail.
Final Thoughts on Preventing a Trapped Nerve
Getting a trapped nerve can obviously be quite painful. Therefore, you will want to do everything possibly to avoid having that happen! Perhaps the biggest thing you can do is to be aware of your posture! Slouching constantly can tighten your chest muscles and cause your head to come forward. This can overtime lead to nerves getting pinched in those areas. Also, while you are simply walking around everyday, you will want to be aware of your posture and try to go into as optimal a posture as possible. Finally, you will want to stretch your body out. By doing the stretches that I show you in the videos above, that should go a long way towards preventing pinched nerves from occurring in your body. If pinched nerve symptoms are not going away, then you should obviously see a doctor and get checked out! Hopefully this article further educated you on some ways you can get a trapped nerve and what you can do about it!