How a nerve becomes trapped

Trapped nerves in the spine are incredibly common! The reason is that spine has 2 major, and sometimes competing, roles.

The interlinking vertebral bones of the spine house and protect the spinal cord – a bundle of thousands of delicate nerves that control limb movement, organ function and relay messages of sensation, position and balance up to the brain.

Those same interlinking vertebral bones attach to dozens of muscles in the back and neck. This allows body movements that can be powerful enough for weightlifters to lift hundreds of kilos, or agile enough for gymnasts to perfectly land multiple rotating jumps.

The spine is tough, powerful and flexible but the delicate nerves it contains have to enter and exit to reach all parts of the body. There are 62 all important ‘foramina’ or holes where the nerves can enter and exit, some are show on the picture.

A trapped nerve can cause pain in the back, leg arm, shoulder or head. Despite this, the most common place for the nerve to be compressed is around the foramina of the spine. This principally happens for one or more of 3 reasons: The joints of the spine have restricted or locked around the foramina; the nearby disc has bulged into the foramina; or arthritis has reached a stage where bone growth impinges the foramina and outgoing nerve.

The competing requirements for spinal protection and spinal movement mean that back pain, neck pain and pinched nerves will, at some time, affect almost everyone. If you think chiropractic treatment could help you then call in!