Nerve Glide. Nerve What?

Our nerves can affect our movements, range of motion and can cause feelings of tightness, pain, numbness & tingling symptoms. Just like muscles, nerves can get sore or inflamed and lose their mobility. Unlike muscles we don’t stretch nerves but nerve glides can mobilise them again, helping relieve symptoms.

The median nerve, ulnar nerve and radial nerve are the main nerves in our arms, the sciatic nerve and femoral nerve are in our legs. Each plays a key role in sensation, coordination and movement. Poor seated or standing posture can also cause nerve issues, frequently in sciatic or upper limb nerves as the prolonged incorrect position of bones and muscles can put unnecessary pressure on nerves, as can repetitive movements eg running, cycling or computer/mouse work.

Nerve gliding helps the nerves to glide more normally as you move your joints by pulling the nerve from one end and shortening it from the other end. Start cautiously with nerve glides using these guidelines: 

  • Start slowly with five or so repetitions a day, gradually increasing up to 20-30, maybe in 2-3 sets of 10.
  • Don’t tense up. Keep your body relaxed
  • Stop immediately if you feel any new pain.
  • Daily consistency with these glides can start to have an impact on symptoms in a few weeks
  • Nerve flossing may cause slight tingling or aching, but this should subside within a few minutes. If the pain or tingling is extreme or persists, you may be doing the movements too aggressively. Give it a rest for several days, and speak with an osteopath, physiotherapist, sports massage therapist or doctor for advice.

Sports massage can reduce soft tissue tension & improve muscle balance thereby helping reduce nerve irritation as well as stress on joints. It can also improve range of motion, helping us develop sustainable & less injury prone movement and posture. Get in touch with any questions about how it could help you.


Median nerve

Symptoms of medial nerve issues include numbness and tingling in the palm of the hand and the thumb, index or middle finger and carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Starting position: Stand up straight. Place your right arm by your side with your palm facing outwards..
  • Slowly bend your wrist back, stretching the front of your wrist and palm.
  • Then, slowly bend your head away from your arm. Return slowly to the starting position.

Sciatic nerve:

Symptoms of limited sciatic nerve mobility are discomfort in various places through the lower back, buttocks and legs.

  • Starting position: Sit on a chair (or table if possible) and bend the head and trunk so you are effectively slumped.
  • Flex the foot and straighten the knee then slowly swing the leg up and down again to return to starting position

Mary Brooking

Sports Massage & Remedial Therapy

07909 551191

Instagram: brooking.mary

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