The network of nerve fibers covers the whole body up to the “last cell” So pain on the path of a nerve can affect just about any part of the body. These discomforts are called “neuritis” or “neuralgia”, etc. And they are often named according to the nerve concerned, such as “sciatica” or “brachialgia” when the pain (algia) concerns the sciatic nerve or the brachial plexus.
At the origin of these pains there is usually irritation or pinching on the root of a nerve or along its path. Occasionally a viral infection or a strong shock is the cause. Some neuralgia is more common than others.
- Sciatica, felt in the buttock and behind the leg, sometimes up to the foot
- Cruralgia: Affects the area in front of the leg, from the groin to the knee
- Facial neuralgia: Severe pain in the face, related to the trigeminal nerve
- Intercostal neuralgia: Concerning an intercostal nerve, sometimes several
- Canal syndrome (carpal tunnel): In the forearm, wrist, hand. Sometimes night and day.
- Cervico-brachial neuralgia: Can extend from the shoulder and neck to the hand
- Arnold’s neuralgia: Which causes severe neck and head pain, especially in the back.
This kind of pain is often described by the patient as a slenderness, burning, tingling, numbness, tingling, or impressions of electric shocks.
Work of the osteopath
Invariably the goal of the osteopath’s treatment for these neuritis, or neuralgia, is to decompress the nerve root or nerve affected, to reduce the mechanical stresses that surround it and that are exerted on it, to dissipate its irritants and the pressures it undergoes.
- Sometimes this will involve decompaction techniques between two bone segments through which the nerve passes.
- Sometimes it will be a question of eliminating pathological contractures in a tense musculature that traps a nerve.
- Other times the key will be the release of certain membranes, fascia or fascia that the nerve passes through or accompanies, when they are stretched to the point of affecting the nerve.
- In some cases joint normalization will be necessary, whether at the vertebral level or elsewhere, when a joint disorder causes or promotes neurological compression.
Type of remedy
The success rate of osteopathic treatments on different neuritis and neuralgia is very high. Arnold’s neuralgia, for example, which finds few solutions with most therapeutic approaches, are often very well relieved in osteopathy. It is the same for sciatic pain or brachialgia. Even when a relatively large herniated disc compresses the nerve root.
Often there is a way to relieve this type of problem without medication. There are protocols that aim to silence the symptoms. And there are methods that apply to treat the causes. It is to the advantage of the body to use them. This prevents the complication from getting worse. After all; the symptoms are body language. It is not enough to muzzle it or make them the soda ear!
Motor skills and strength
A nerve has sensory fibers and motor fibers. Neuritis and neuralgia, which we have just talked about, are the expression of cases where the sensory fibers are concerned, When the motor fibers are affected, this is manifested by the lack of strength, falling foot, falling hand, lack of control over a limb, etc. These cases will also benefit from good osteopathic work.