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What are the main physical benefits of nerve flossing?

By: Claire Mills, Physiotherapist and founder of Core LDN

First published: 1st May 2024

Featured in: Sheerluxe, ‘Why Everyone’s Talking About Nerve Flossing’

Why Everyone’s Talking About Nerve Flossing

What are the main physical benefits of nerve flossing?

Nerve flossing mobilises a nerve in two directions back and forth gliding the nerve which facilitates smooth movement and allows improved gliding of the nerve through muscles and around joints. Flossing can help decrease compression around a nerve and can help decrease pain caused by nerves. 

What conditions can nerve flossing help?

Commonly sciatic nerve flossing is used to alleviate pain from compressed or irritated nerves normally as a result of injury, disease and/or changes that occurred around a joint/ muscles. This could include pain arising from the sciatic and femoral nerves in the lower body and radial, ulna & median nerves in the upper body.

Can nerve flossing be started without professional supervision?

If you are getting pain arising from a nerve I would suggest seeing a health professional, such as a physiotherapist. They will be able to advise if flossing is appropriate or not and recommend the correct type of exercises. Often nerve flossing in isolation will not resolve symptoms.

That said nerve flossing is relatively simple, has minimal risks and should not cause any issues if performed correctly with care. If flossing is painful or worsens your pain then I would strongly recommend seeking advice from a health professional as the pain could be a result from other underlying conditions & flossing could worsen symptoms.

Anything to be aware of when doing it?

Start slow, gradually increase repetitions. Be guided by pain, pain should not increase. Keep breathing as you do the exercises. Try to think about keeping the muscles relaxed.

How often can you do it? 

You can do flossing up to 2-3 time per day, being guided by symptoms. Again start slow and gradually build up to this.

Can you overdo it? What should you watch out for to know if you have done too much?

Yes you can, nerves are extremely sensitive and they can get irritated quickly. If you have done too much your pain will worsen/ increase this could be during or immediately after doing the exercise or even later that day/ the following morning.

How soon should you start to feel results?

It could be immediately. If the nerve tension/ pain is due to decreased nerve mobility/ gliding then flossing exercises can act as a treatment so should give you some relief. Again as a physiotherapist I would always combine nerve flossing with other exercises to improve the overall flexibility and control of nerves through muscles & around joints. 

About Core LDN

Aimed at revolutionising the fitness and rehabilitation landscape, Core LDN firmly believe

that a one size fits all approach simply doesn't apply to wellness. At the heart of Core LDN's philosophy is a team of expert physiotherapists dedicated to treating and rehabilitating all injuries. Through a fusion of exercise rehabilitation in specialised CORE classes, clients can experience the benefits of Physiotherapy-led Pilates. Whether in recovery mode, navigating pre/postnatal stages, or striving towards specific fitness objectives, individuals can harness the power of personalised Pilates sessions.

To find out more about Core LDN, book a physiotherapy initial appointment or Core LDN Pilates intro visit


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