Nerve Flossing Exercise in Your Physical therapy

Nerve Flossing Exercise in your Physical therapy

A unique exercise primarily used in Physical therapy to improve the way your nerves move is called Nerve flossing. The other name of nerve flossing is nerve gliding or neural glides. It happens that after an injury or illness, muscles, joints, and tendons can become tight. And yes, nerves can also become tight after injury, and your Physical therapist might determine that nerve flossing is necessary to help to improve nerve motion and move - feel better. A physical therapist may prescribe nerve glides to help you fully recuperate. But what is nerve flossing, and how is it done? Let's know more about it.

Physical Therapy and Neurodynamics

Your nervous system classifies into two- the central nervous system, consisting of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system. Now let's understand that the nerves that exit your spinal cord and travel through your body to your arms, trunk, and legs are a peripheral nervous system. So basically, these nerves give an update to your brain about what's all going on. They sense temperature, pain, pressure, and position. Also, peripheral nerves communicate information from your brain to your muscles to move or to relax. If you had an injury, your peripheral nerve might get tight. Considering your sciatic nerves in your legs is the largest nerve in your body. Slight damage to the nerve membrane may occur if these nerves become pinched by a herniated disc or facet joint. And the result is scar tissue may develop around the nerve, which ultimately leads to tightness, tingling, or pain in that area where the nerve courses. The nerve travels down your leg, and the tightness in the nerve may limit your ability to fully move the joints of your hip, knees, and ankle.

Sometimes an injury can happen to your arm or arms as well. Nerve pinching and damage might occur in your arms due to nerve tightness. This upper nerve injury is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Well, this has a treatment in physical therapy.

Nerve Flossing Exercises

Conditions targeted in nerve flossing is irritation of nerves, such as sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Compressed or irritated nerves are gently mobilized through particular sets of exercise. Nerve flossing helps relieve pain from these conditions and increases the range of motion. Some simple exercises can be tried at home to help treat syndromes of sciatica and piriformis.

Nerve Flossing Exercise for Sciatica

There are a few exercises that people can try at home.

Mobilizing stretch -

        Lie on the floor with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.

        Rest the head on a flat cushion or small book.

        Relax the upper body and tuck the chin in slightly.

        Place both hands behind the left knee and pull it in toward the chest.

        Slowly straighten the knee until feeling a stretch.

        Hold for 5 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply.

        Slowly bend the knee back into the trunk and then lower the foot back to the starting position.

        Repeat with the right leg and do five times for each leg.

Seated sciatica nerve floss-

  1. Sit upright in a chair, with knees hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor, and facing forwards.
  2. Extend the right leg, with the foot flexed toward the body.
  3. Extend the neck up and back to look up at the ceiling.
  4. Lower both the neck and leg down gently, so the chin tucks into the chest, and the leg goes slightly back past 90 degrees.
  5. Extend and lower the neck at the same time as extending and reducing the portion.
  6. Switch legs and repeat exercise 10 times for the left leg.
  7. Do ten repetitions on both legs 2–3 times each day.

Exercise for Piriformis Syndrome

Nerve floss exercise

  1. Bend the left leg and hold the left knee and foot.
  2. Bring the left leg across the right side of the body toward the right shoulder and hold for 5 seconds
  3. Gently lower to the floor and repeat the exercise with the right leg.
  4. Repeat five times on each side.
  5. Do this exercise 2–3 times per day.

Why Nerve Flossing is Advised

After an abrasion or illness, you may benefit from physical therapy. Your therapist will assess you for various impairments—measures like Strength, Flexibility, Range of motion, balance and proprioception, Nerve tension. And if the therapist regulates that nerve tension and tightness may be integral in your pain or limited movement, a nerve flossing exercise might be suggested to improve your mobility.

General diagnoses that require nerve flossing exercise are:

        Plantar fasciitis


        Herniated disc

        Carpal tunnel syndrome

        Cervical Radiculopathy

        Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

        Tarsal tunnel syndrome

        Muscle strains


        After any surgery


What is the goal of nerve flossing? It is to improve your motion, flexibility, and function with a decrease in pain. If you are the one to suffer a pinched nerve or an injury that limits your movement, you may have increased neural tension. Well, in such cases, nerve flossing might be suggested. These exercises can help you get back your mobility to quickly and safely get back to your previous function and activity level.

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