As nerves leave the spine, they will course through the body and are vulnerable to compression or entrapment anywhere along its course. The nerves can be chronically compressed through repetitive activities or trapped by acute injuries, causing swelling.
Common nerve entrapment syndromes are carpal tunnel syndrome from compression of the median nerve, causing nerve pain in your hand; meralgia paresthetica from compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, causing pain in your thigh; piriformis syndrome, causing pain commonly called sciatica from compression of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle; and cubital tunnel syndrome from compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow, causing pain in your forearm and hand.
Every nerve has a specific job. That job may be to help a muscle move, transmit sensation back to your spinal cord and brain, or both. If a peripheral nerve becomes injured, compressed or trapped, it may prevent you from being able to do a particular function such as move your fingers or toes, or may cause pain in the distribution of that nerve. You may experience: