All nerves that exit from the spinal cord comprise the Peripheral Nervous System. These nerves descend following specified paths whereby there are areas of anatomic narrowing, as between two muscles or beneath a tight band of fascia. If a nerve gets compressed in any of these areas of tightness for an extended period of time, the nerve will become inflamed. This leads to symptoms of pain, tingling and numbness below the area where the compression exists. When severe compression exists, the nerve injury leads to a loss of sensation or muscle weakness. Left untreated, the nerve damage can become permanent.
Examples of nerve compression are:
1. The sprained ankle where suddenly pain appears over the outside of the leg with pains and needle sensation running down the leg
2. The high heeled shoe wearer who experiences numbness to their large toe
3. The person who sits cross legged and experiences weakness in the leg when standing or walking
4. The person following knee replacement surgery discovers burning and tingling below the knee
5. Following the surgical repair of ankle fractures – the nerve may be damaged from direct trauma on the incision exposure