Search This Blog

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Neural Tension

Last Friday I was on my bed, as usual, breathing deeply while the physical therapist stretched my leg by pushing the knee into the mattress. After doing this particular stretch, he raised the leg and started to stretch it that way. ALERT! A different kind of pain enters whenever I have that leg raised like that. I asked him why it always hurts more when in that position.

That stopped him. He tried different moves - pointing my toes, not pointing them, lowering the leg about halfway (relief), asking about the pain in each change. Then he said it may be "neural tension".

According to Brent Anderson, PhD, PT, OCS,
NT is thought to be caused by restriction on the sheath that surrounds the nerve. The nerve should glide smoothly through the sheath like a bicycle brake cable gliding through its casing. But sometimes the nerve does not glide through the sheath well and this can cause restriction.

This is pretty close to how Wade described it. He said the nerve goes all the way from my brain to the bottom of my foot, one continuous nerve, and if it gets stuck along the way it can't move as it should. He then had me lie on my back and when he moved my foot I was to move my head - bring my chin to my chest. This is one of the exercises for loosening up the nerve. When we had done it several times he tested me again and the pain was not as great. So I may indeed have a nerve issue there. He suggested that I ask the next physical therapist (Paul) to do a neural tension test.

I got interested in this topic and looked around a bit online. It appears that this is a relatively new area and there isn't always agreement about what is going on and how to deal with it. There is a book, written in 2005, that offers many illustrations and explanations, and that gets good reviews. Just for yucks, I went to to see if they had it, and they did. But new it costs almost $115, and used it is over $80. I guess I'll not be satisfying that part of my curiosity just yet.

No comments: