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Is Nerve Tension Causing Your Pain?

Physiotherapy is evolving ... come and experience the difference.

At Northwest Physiotherapy Group we want to be really thorough so that we get the best long term result for you. We know from our experience and research in our field (Hall & Elvey), that nerves are very important structures in the body. They need to slide and glide freely as we move for normal function to occur. 

Why test for neural tension?

If nerves are not sliding/moving well, this can lead to pain, altered movement, muscle weakness and many other symptoms(pins and needles, numbness, burning sensations etc).

This is why we test neural movement first.

This is one of the things that sets our approach, the Ridgway Method, apart from standard physiotherapy.

Did you know that muscles protect nerves?  

Muscles will often tighten or ‘guard’ as a way to protect the nerve if it is not moving well. In our experience, without addressing nerve dysfunction first, any treatment we provide to tight or tense muscles and joints is unlikely to be effective in the long term. The nerve dysfunction or irritation is essentially a block to effective treatment.  

Neurodynamic Testing

Your physiotherapist will carefully assess your nerve mobility, which is a sensitive passive test to identify early restriction of movement or muscle guarding. If there is a restriction(positive test), gentle but specific mobilising techniques are used to clear the restriction. This is the first step of our thorough, whole body assessment to ensure effective resolution of your condition.

It is also an excellent objective measure of progress with treatment when your nerves are moving well and you test clear.   

Nerve testing Before and After Photos.

These tests are passive tests performed up to the first point of resistance/guarding detected by the therapist. This point in range is called R1.

Lower Limb Nerve Test

Top Image – Before nerve clearing. Bottom Image – After nerve clearing.

Upper Limb Nerve Test

Top Image – Before nerve clearing. Bottom Image – After nerve clearing.

Further Reading about Neural Testing

For further information on neuro-dynamic testing and whether our treatment approach is right for you, you can either contact us through the website or call the clinic and one of our physiotherapists will be more than happy to assist you. 


Hall, T.M. & Elvey, R.L (1999) Nerve Trunk Pain: Physical Diagnosis and Treatment. Manual Therapy Masterclass, 4(2), 63-73.