Nerve compression is the restriction in the space around a nerve that can occur due to several reasons. Functioning of the nerve is compromised.
There are a variety of circumstances that cause nerve compression. Despite this variety, the resulting damage to the nerve produces a similar diminished functioning of the nerve.
The incidence of brachial plexus palsy, usually a result of birth injury to the nerves that conduct signals from the spine to the shoulder and resulting in a limp or paralyzed arm, is low, on the order of one to two births out of every 1,000. Brachial plexus palsy is associated with a difficult labor, especially compression on the baby's shoulders. Intervention or assistance during labor can lessen the chance of the physical trauma that causes the nerve damage. However, the condition cannot be totally eliminated, especially in times where an emergency response is needed to speed the birth of a fetus in distress.
Meralgia parasthetica, a condition involving compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, results in paresthesia, or tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer side of the thigh. Meraglia paresthetica has traditionally affected men more than women. The condition is not rare, but its overall prevalence is unknown. Meralgia paresthetica may occur after abdominal surgery or significant weight gain, in military members who often march, soccer players, or for no apparent reason in the general population. Other nerve compression maladies such as carpal tunnel syndrome can be quite common.
Causes and symptoms
There are a variety of conditions that lead to nerve compression, according to the affected nerve.
Brian Douglas Hoyle PhD, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,