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Nerve Flossing

What is Nerve Flossing?

Nerve flossing also known as nerve mobilization is a specialized diagnostic and treatment technique commonly used in the orthopedic and physical therapy settings. By “flossing” a specific nerve, disorders caused by neural tension, which are usually expressed as pain, weakness, numbness and/or tingling can be alleviated.

Why is nerve flossing used?

Sometimes central and peripheral nerves throughout the body become agitated, get entangled with surrounding tissues, or become hypersensitive due to overuse, acute injury and/or poor posture. Neural tension is therefore created by these irritations and thus creating an array of neural conditions. Common conditions caused by neural tension are carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, tennis elbow, to name a few, that can be relieved with treatment called “nerve flossing,” which causes nerves to slide through tissues properly. Sometimes these neural conditions are masked as another condition and improperly treated. Sciatic nerve tension can commonly present as tight hamstrings. People will routinely say they stretch their hamstrings all the time and they continue to be tight. If, when the hamstrings are being stretched, numbness or tingling is felt in the calf or foot, there is likely a sciatic nerve tension problem. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that commonly gets mistreated. It is the median nerve that is involved with CTS. Often the focus is on the carpal tunnel where the median nerve passes through the wrist. But, in fact, there are several “choke points” in which the median nerve can get bound. Carpal tunnel release surgeries often fail because these choke points were not addressed. We routinely prevent carpal tunnel surgeries by addressing the median nerve along the entirety of its course.   Treatment and protocols are based from the work of leading expert Michael Shacklock, physician and author of the book Clinical Neurodynamics.