I'm back! and with a question

from my hols…very pleased to report, minimal symptoms, and what i had, i told to go away cos i was on hols and they would not ruin it! now im back I’d like to ask a question about test for trapped nerves? I spoke to my friend a little on hols about an injury i received when i was 17, that caused shooting pains, and brief paralysis of my left arm. i mean this wasn’t just a dead arm you might get from sleeping on it, no pins and needles, i may as well have chopped my arm off i could feel nothing from my shoulder down, and i couldn’t move it at all for about a minute, thankfully, it came back to life as it were and all seemed normal after a few days. but its been suggested that it may have caused a nerve to be trapped in my shoulder and maybe could explain some of my left sided symptoms? i haven’t yet bought this up with my doctor, but am considering it as a possible explanation, and wondered if anyone else has had tests done for trapped nerves and if so, what are they like?

ta! and hope all are doing ok!


Hmmm? Thats a poser alright! Do you still have problems/pain in your arm/shoulder? Have you had an MRI? I think it wouldve shown up if there was that type of problem.

But im no expert on MRIs, its just me wondering.

Perhaps Rizzo…Karen…will see your post and reply. She`s good at stuff like that.

Glad your hol went well and you giving your problems a good talking to helped. I do that sometimes too.

luv Pollx

Hi, me again! I`ve tried to give rizzo a nudge for you.

luv Pollx

Hey Poll, nope still no MRI, my left shoulder/arm is just very weak and aches easily (ie.shopping carrying), but apart from that and occasional tingly feelings, and recently bit of pain in my left hand, not really! but then my right shoulder/arm is also weak from a pulled muscle when i was 8, so who knows…


thanks Poll :slight_smile: just wondering if it could be the cause of all the symptoms, then its fixable, i guess!


thanks Poll :slight_smile: just wondering if it could be the cause of all the symptoms, then its fixable, i guess!


Oh I do hope so!

luv Pollx]

Until Karen answers (I think she’s away) I’ll give you my twopeneth.

An MRI will only give an image of an area. Sounds like the test your asking about is an Evoked Potential. SomatoSensory Evoked Potential (SSEP)

The SSEP test involves strapping an electrical stimulus around an arm or leg. The current is switched on for 5 seconds and electrodes on the back and skull measure the response at particular junctions. The current is very low indeed and completely painless. The speed of various nerves can be measured in this way and the points of slow-down (i.e. demyelinated lesions) approximated to because of the sampling at several places.

77% of people with definite MS and 67% of people with probable MS will have abnormal SSEP test results.

Slow nerve responses in any of these tests are not necessarily indicative of MS but can be used in conjunction with a neurological examination, medical history, an MRI and a spinal tap to deduce some kind of diagnosis.


thanks George, thats useful info, so a trapped nerve isn’t necessarily another option for a diagnosis, ie. its not MS, its a trapped nerve, but its something they tend to do when testing for it?

“Trapped nerve” is a term for anything putting pressure on a nerve/nerve tract. This is an anatomical problem rather than a neurological problem, and you can usually see the cause on MRI.

SSEPs is a test of nerve conduction, i.e. how well a nerve is transmitting signals. MS, and other conditions, can make nerves slow or even unable to transmit signals. This can be a clue to what’s going on.

A trapped nerve is a possible alternative explanation to (some) MS-like symptoms. So, yes, it is possible that your problems could be because of a trapped nerve (or a hundred other things) and not MS, but it’s best to let the experts narrow it down / work it out. Just tell them what’s been happening and leave it to them. No point in trying to work it out for them!

Karen x

Hi Jules,

Some of my first symptoms were suggestive of a trapped nerve; pins and needles and numbness, also pain.

My first MRI and a nerve conduction test ruled out a trapped nerve.

Hope you get clarity soon.

Clare x

I wasn’t trying to work it out for them Karen, the experts aren’t doing anything. thanks for the info.

thanks too clare. xx

Hey Jules my first symptoms were a neck spasm and then pain and pins and needles down my arm and we all thought trapped nerve. Then I had a bigger episode which prompted my neuro referral. No trapped nerve for me. I’m sure there’s others who’ve been down a similar route also.



Hi, I think I am in a similar position/ My neuro said the MRI I’ve just had was to look for a trapped neck nerve too.

If it was a trapped nerve wouldn’t the symptoms be more constant? I have on going neuro stuff anyway after the brain haem but this other stuff seems to come and go every few weeks.

Brains are such confusing things aren’t they!

Hi folks just dipped into the forum today as I am going to meet my new neuro today one who has a specialist interest in MS. But I found it very interesting that a couple of people here have talked about trapped nerves.

My first presentation to A&E I was told it was a trapped nerve and to go home and rest. I tried the resting but took myself back to A&E on the advice of my GP. I am a nurse but knew absolutely nothing about trapped nerves (still dont) and the second Dr who saw me said she didnt know that much about trapped nerves, she was a JHO.

Anyway just wondering how many others have been told they have a trapped nerve and it unfortunately hasnt been.


Thanks for all the replies, another waiting game to see if my GP will look into it or not i guess, yep brains are confusing things! sorry missy i don’t know can anyone else help?