Upper Limb Neural Tension. By Emily Smyth


What is upper limb neural tension?

Upper limb neural tension is when the nerves in your arms are under “tension”. This tension may originate from the surrounding musculature or soft tissue. Often a nerve pain can be disguised as a localised pain due to the nature of nerves and how they tend to refer pain. It is common for someone to believe they have tennis elbow however; their pain is coming from a compression of the nerve somewhere along the biomechanical chain.

How to know where your pain is coming from?

There are a few things to consider when determining if your pain is localised or referred. Often referred pain may change location and intensity depending on your arm position and length of position. With nerve tension, it is common to experience symptoms such as pins and needles or numbness. Particular movements aggravate different nerves e.g. biceps curls will aggravate the radial nerve (one of the three main upper limb nerves) so look out for a particular movement which may cause your pain or pins and needles.

What to do?

A nerve itself cannot be stretched however; it is possible to loosen surrounding soft tissue and musculature to allow smoother and less painful movement of the nerve. Within a short time of beginning this process and with the help of some exercises you can return to normal activity hopefully pain free.

One last thing to consider is the importance of determining the cause for the neural tension. In order to fully recover you must address the underlining source. Often it can originate from poor technique during an exercise or an activity, poor posture or prolonged postures in a certain position. If these are not addressed it is possible that your pain will return.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us here in InnerStrength of Bayside or BOOK ONLINE.