Nerves are not actually trapped but are actually irritated and compressed due to swelling or inflammation. This may also be caused by a bulging disc or a bone growth in the spine such as is seen in arthritis. Trapped nerves are a little like stopping water on a garden hose by standing or putting a chair on it. Like the amount of water coming out of the hose is changed, the signal in the nerve is also changed because it is irritated. You, therefore, get pain along the nerve itself.
Trapped nerves in the neck
Nerves can also get trapped in the neck. There is usually neck pain as well but this is not always the case. Symptoms in the neck can be caused by arthritis in the neck, a bulging disc or a trapped and inflamed joint. The ulnar nerve gets affected a great deal which causes symptoms in the ring and little finger.
Symptoms in the middle fingers are usually caused by problems in the middle of the neck. It is commonly at level C5/6 where the neck appears to be most vulnerable to arthritis, as this area of the neck is in the middle of the curve in that part of the spine. This area also tends to move more than other parts of the neck. The ulnar nerve is shown in blue and radial nerve in green in the image on the right.
Patients describe trapped nerves like an electric shock type of pain.
Sciatica is the name given to any pain that runs down the back of the leg. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, pelvis, and buttocks, down the back of the legs to the foot and toes. Sciatica can be a very mild ache, to being extremely painful. Symptoms may include, aching, pulling, tightness, numbness or pins and needles. Symptoms also include sharp stabbing, electric shock or “running water” type pain. “A toothache in the leg” is another apt description
Sciatica- What causes it?
Irritation or pressure to the sciatic nerve at some point along its length.
This may be caused by a slipped disc pressing on the nerve. Other common problems also include arthritis, disc Injury (Slipped disc), facet joint strain, sacroiliac strain. Muscle Strain/spasm, ligament strain, spondylitis, Whip Lash, Pelvic torsion, leg length discrepancy are also common causes.
Thoracic outlet syndrome
This is also a common problem and will shortly have a blog page to itself.