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Nerve Gliding Exercises

gwennie17gwennie17 Posts: 2,912
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Can someone explain what these exercises are and how they are done? I understand the purpose of them, just wondered how they are performed.


  • I would like to know also. When I was going to PT for my shoulder they would perform these. I should have asked more questions then.

  • about this nerve gliding stuff and this is how they answered it, hopefully I can relay it correctly. As I understand it, the nerves are being in a since "flossed" through the body. If you can picture this example hopefully it will make a little sense.
    If you were on your back and you left your right leg straight on the ground and raised your left leg as if to do a hamstring stretch, then pumped your ankle (move foot back and forth pushing toes forwards and pulling them back) it not only stretches that muscle but also moves that nerve like a piece of floss. It glides the nerve back and forth in a gliding motion. Also from what I understood it was helpful to "desensatize" the nerve and reduce nerve pain over time as it becomes more fluid in movement.
    Another example I as given is that the nerve when inflamed looks like a normal rubberband kinda thick, but as you stretch and glide the nerves, they thin out making an easier passage through the canals they are in. If you stretch a rubber band it "thins" out. Sort of the same concept.
    Does that make sense? Im never real good at explaining these things. But I do know that it does help get the nerve moving properly and over time can reduce inflamation and over all pain for some people. Its also just a good excersise for the whole body to stretch.

    I hope that helped explain it a little, like I said thats just what I understood about it and it made sense to me at the time my PT instructor explained it.
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  • be careful with flossing. if it makes things worse, STOP. it's VERY VERY VERY important not to continue if it makes your nerve pain worse. it really messed with mine, and my p.t. had told me before i started to do it twice a day, unless it hurts... then don't ever do it again.
  • If it aggravates the nerve then stop doing it and be careful with the excersise. For me the gliding has worked so listen to your body as nerve gliding can have varied results. For me it works, I would ask PT more about it and if it is right for your body.
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