Friday, January 11, 2008
Calming therapeutic neuroscience narrative 2. “Zings and zaps from nerves”.
There are many odd pains and sensations that people experience where the strangeness may evoke more stress and maybe even more pain. A fairly common one is where damaged peripheral nerves “fire” at odd times. This is a feature of abnormal impulse generation in nerves, researched extensively by Patrick Wall, Marshall Devor and colleagues. It seems to happen when a nerve is mechanically stretched or pinched though not every time, which makes it more stressful when it happens. A common one is when a person puts their neck back and they get a shock like zing. Sometimes people get a zap in the front of their hip when they walk and clinicians who examine the physical health of nerves in patients will be aware of the occasional sharp zings when they perform assessment techniques such as a Straight Leg Raise or Upper Limb Neurodynamic Test. Noone likes zings and zaps and if it happens a few times, it is only natural that the person will avoid that movement and change their posture. In most cases, zings and zaps are not serious indicators of disease or serious trauma and with some explanation and some exercise of neighbouring tissues, the zings and zaps may well just go. “Its just your body reporting in” may help some.