How To Fix A Trapped Nerve

I often get asked if I can help someone suffering with a trapped nerve.

In short – YES!

However, how do we know exactly what the “trapped nerve” is?

A lot of people may experience pain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles, loss of power – all these types of symptoms if it is a trapped nerve.

But the real question is where is it being trapped?

Until you find the exact point where the nerve is being trapped, there is no proper way of resolving it. These types of conditions are biomechanical meaning it’s a physical problem, so no tablet, no cream, no drug is going to change the biomechanical challenge of pinch.

To resolve it, there needs to be a physical movement to that area to untrap or unpinch the affected nerve.

I prefer calling it pinched rather than trapped.

It’s very much like when you have lights in a building, to turn a light on that’s in the ceiling, you need to go to a switch on the wall. The reason that works is because we all know there is a wire that goes from the switch to the light communicating what to do. If that wire was pinched somewhere when you go to turn the light on by pressing the switch on the wall, it won’t turn on.

Other causes could be the light bulb itself may need replacing, or the fuse in the fusebox may have been tripped, or there may be a power outage at the mains for the whole street.

That’s just like what happens with our body.

When you look at the spine, the nervous system that is housed inside, and those nerves that exit the spine supply everything in the body.

The nerves in the lower back (lumbar spine) supply the legs

Those nerves in the mid back (thoracic spine) supply most of your organs.

And the nerves in the neck (cervical spine) supply the head and arms.

If you experience any pain, numbness, tingling, loss of power, pins and needles, it may not be a local problem, i.e. where you are experiencing those symptoms. There may be a link back to somewhere else in the spine where the nerves are coming from. Or it may be higher up in the central nervous system.

So until you find that mechanical challenge your body is experiencing on those nerves, no drugs, no tablets, no cream is going to relieve that pressure. Not even some exercises, because they may aggravate the issue if you haven’t dealt with the root cause.

Although there isn’t an exercise that I can give you to relieve a trapped nerve, what I can say with confidence is that it well worth visiting a local professional who specialises, like a chiropractor or an osteopath, in finding the source of your problem.

It’s really important to find the source of the trapped nerve, because only then can you release the pinching of the nerve, allowing the nerve flow to correctly supply the body again.

We have to also consider how long you have had the pinched nerve. Because the longer the nerve has been pinched, the more potential weakness you can get, with regards to the signals into those areas.

Before I treat any patient, or even examine them, we go through a full case history. This helps me find out more information about their symptoms, their health history, their lifestyle goals.

I then will also carefully examine the patient. You can often see in my videos where I treat my patients, that I check which specific level in the spine needs the adjustment, which releases the tension in the joints, the pressure on the nerves, restoring normal nerve function back in the body.

Research has also found that by adjusting a level in the spine that is affecting a nerve supplying a part of the body, that the body then sends messages back to the nervous system, further strengthening the connections – it’s like a complete electrical circuit.

Very similar to your broadband. Although your internet service provider sends the bulk of the data to your building, your modem will fire back little messages letting the ISP know it’s there. So our body is like the building, and the ISP is our nervous system, which are sending messages back and forth to each other.

Like most things, once things are working well, there is always a risk that the pinching may return, or a new injury may occur. Regular check ups reduce the risk of recurrence.

For longer term relief we need to also consider lifestyle choices along side regular maintenance where appropriate.

How Healthy Are You?

Ever wonder how you can tell how healthy you are? Of course we all want to be healthier versions of ourselves. Some of us may compare what our health is like with our loved ones to see who is healthier than who.  But how can you really be sure?

It’s so much more complex than simply checking to see how far you can bend to reach your toes, being able to move without any discomfort or run a 100m sprint in a certain time.

Are these even the correct factors to be looking for when measuring health?

I have always strived to be as objective with my measurements as much as possible with my patients. Over the years I have consistently asked myself how I can measure how healthy my patients are. What I have found is it all comes down to adaptability – homeostasis.

I came to this conclusion by taking this idea to the extreme (it’s a strategy I commonly adopt to figure out most things). So I thought to myself “who is considered to be super healthy?” The best examples I came across were superheroes.

So let’s use Superman in this example. Superman could be in a really cold, freezing environment and he wouldn’t need to worry about whether he would freeze to death as his body is able to warm itself up enough avoiding any denaturing of his enzymes to allow the biochemical reactions to continue to take place.

At the same time Superman could also go into an extremely hot environment and be able to cool his body down, for the same reasons.

If you can adapt to your environment, whether you are in a hot or cold environment, the more adaptability you have, the more flexibility you have within your own system, which means you will be more healthy as you able to be in different environments safely.

This is the test I used to find the healthiest bed, the healthiest pillow, the healthiest chair, the healthiest diet, the healthiest anything.

It always comes down to this one thing… how much can you adapt?

Another example is if you haven’t drunk any water for some time, those who can go without water for longer as more healthy than those who cannot. Of course I am not talking about thriving here, this is pure survival in this water example as we take this concept to the extreme in order to understand what health is.

My advice is to ensure you are drinking enough water of course, as I want you to be living optimally.

I also would never compare my health to someone else’s, but I would compare my health in comparison to me. Going back to the example of being in a hot climate, if I don’t do well in those environments, I can take some time to gradually train myself to get used to the heat. Eventually I will be fine, as long as I have the ability to adapt, i.e. if I am healthy enough to. This means my body will need to learn to sweat more efficiently in order to cool it down and keep my core at the temperature for my enzymes to work at their optimum.

As an entrepreneur I may have to increase the hours I sit in meeting from 3 hours to 7 hours. By taking the measures that allow me to learn to be able to sit for longer, without causing any problems (not just pain), be able to adapt to my environment better, that will be a good indication of how healthy I am.

So check what you are doing, and see where you can make changes to make yourself a healthier version of you.

Back In 5

If you get into trouble and have treatment which feels good, but then don’t look to prevent it from coming back so end up going back to your bad habits, only for the condition to return.

The reason for that is biology, bad habits and common sense.

Once my patients have gone through their main course of care I often advise on how to maintain or further improve their condition beyond just pain relief or avoiding symptoms.


It’s much like when a building is on fire. Putting the fire out is like dealing with the symptoms only. However, to ensure that the fire doesn’t come you need to correct the original problem and check regularly to make sure it doesn’t come back. That’s much like what our body is like.

It’s also going to give you a better chance of correcting a problem before it becomes too big, therefore improving the outcome even more.

There are several studies showing this to be the case with musculoskeletal conditions. Which makes sense. If you stop taking care of your body, get out of good habits of doing certain exercises or movements, having regular checkups to catch conditions and prevent injury then there’s a higher risk of poor health and less than optimal function.

For those that get into these bad habits tend to call us back in around 5 months time as it takes around this much time for them to start noticing a few symptoms creep back into and affect their lifestyle.

Let’s take the example of a professional athlete who is on a maintenance program, but is preparing for an event. I may find by them coming to see me more frequently in the build up to that event to be beneficial and ensure they are at their optimum.

The same applies for those who have hobbies and want to continue to enjoy those hobbies.

I also see a lot of ambitious patients who want career progression or entrepreneurs who need to function at their peak in order to serve the needs of their business. Our body is still the instrument that we require in order to perform those activities. So these examples may require for someone to be sitting in an office for several hours, or sitting twisted in a boardroom meeting. If they are not able to sit in that way their work is likely to be affected and therefore they are not going to be able to get what they need done.

With chiropractic and osteopathy it’s just like when you regularly see your dentist, have your car serviced, get your heating boiler checked annually.

How To Breathe & It's Effect On Your Health

It may seem strange to be posting content around how to breathe correctly and more effectively. Most people, although have been breathing all their lives, and not even give it much conscious thought as it takes care of itself. It sort of happens in the background rather than for us to consciously worry about breathing correctly.

But that’s the problem. Most of the people I see in at AVID Clinic are not breathing correctly. They have actually forgotten how to breathe correctly, and there are number of reasons why that is.

With quiet breathing we only should be using one muscle – the abdominal diaphragm. This muscle runs through about half way in your torso, separating your chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

When contracting your diaphragm, this muscle flattens and pushes your abdominal organs out, making your tummy stick out a bit. This creates negative pressure in the chest cavity, drawing are in from your environment into your lungs. That’s how we breathe in.

Most do not like the idea of appearing to have a large tummy, so tend to hold their tummy in. This means that they avoid contracting the diaphragm, so it stays relaxed as a dome.

To breathe, they elevate the upper ribs to create the negative pressure to breathe into the lungs. That’s normally ok if it’s been done for a short while. In fact that’s how we are meant to breathe when we exercise and are not “quiet breathing”. But breathing this way for too long can cause other problems.

The muscles required to elevate the upper ribs have another primary function – movement. Their secondary function is to assist in breathing. Breathing incorrectly means that these muscles are already pre fatigued, so when you go to move your neck or your arms, they are having to work extra hard, thereby increasing your risk of injury. The common complaint for patients that I see with neck and shoulder aches are “all I did was reach for… and ping the pain started”. This is the primary reason why this happens.

So working with me these patients retrain and learn to use the correct muscles to breathe properly.

Breathing this way also helps keen our organs healthy. See, the organs are not statis, like in diagrams or in models. They are very motile. For example when you eat food, your stomach enlarges to accommodate and pushes some of the other organs to make space. By breathing using your diaphragm, it enables those organs to be massaged and create flexibility to move better.


A lot of people who are constipated tend not to be breathing correctly. By breathing this way, their intestines get massaged, improved the movement and reducing their constipation.

Breathing correctly also can help relieve stress, and certainly can help you manage stressful situations in a better way.

The ratio to breathe is 1:4:2

Breathe in for 1, hold for 4, breathe out for 2.

In this example I can hold my breath for 20 seconds. So my rations are 5:20:10

Repeat this 10 times.

This enables your sympathetic nervous system, which works very hard during times of stress, goes does. And your parasympathetic nervous system elevates creating feelings of calm and relaxation.

You see, this is important if you are considering improving overall productivity. In a stressed state your IQ tends to reduce a little because you enter a fight or flight survival mode. All your blood gets shunted to your skeletal muscles to prepare you to fight the danger or “flight” run away from the danger. Doing this over a long period of time means there’s less blood to your brain, reducing your brain’s efficiency and function thereby reducing your IQ output.


Breathing this way helps you stay smart!