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The diagnosis of entrapment neuropathies can be difficult because symptoms and signs often do not follow textbook descriptions and vary significantly between patients with the same diagnosis. Signs and symptoms which spread outside of the innervation territory of the affected nerve or nerve root are common. This Masterclass provides insight into relevant mechanisms that may account for this extraterritorial spread in patients with entrapment neuropathies, with an emphasis on neuroinflammation at the level of the dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord, as well as changes in subcortical and cortical regions. Furthermore, we describe how clinical tests and technical investigations may identify these mechanisms if interpreted in the context of gain or loss of function. The management of neuropathies also remains challenging. Common treatment strategies such as joint mobilisation, neurodynamic exercises, education, and medications are discussed in terms of their potential to influence certain mechanisms at the site of nerve injury or in the central nervous system. The mechanism-oriented approach for this Masterclass seems warranted given the limitations in the current evidence for the diagnosis and management of entrapment neuropathies.

Original publication




Journal article


Man Ther

Publication Date





449 - 457


Diagnosis, Entrapment neuropathy, Management, Mechanisms, Humans, Nerve Compression Syndromes, Physical Therapy Modalities