Nerves travel from your brain to the spinal cord, transmitting information throughout your body. A pinched (or compressed) nerve can result in pain, tingling or numbness in a variety of areas in the body; sometimes far away from the initial injury.
What Causes Pinched Nerves?
A pinched nerve occurs because of pressure. This pressure can be from a variety of causes—sleeping in an awkward position, repetitive motions or sitting in the same position for a long period of time can all lead to pressure on a nerve.
If the nerve is compressed for a long period of time, the protective barrier around the nerve may erode. Extra fluid can then build up which leads to scarring and swelling.
What Are The Symptoms?
Pinched nerves can be tricky to diagnose. Some people have only pain as a symptom, while others may have a variety of other signs, but no pain. Typically, a pinched nerve can cause:
- A burning or “pins and needles” sensation in the affected area.
- Pain in the area of the pinched nerve, usually in the back or the neck.
- Radiating pain, particularly with sciatica.
- Muscle weakness
You may find that certain symptoms improve or get worse when certain movements are attempted. For example, sciatic pain is generally made worse by sitting upright.
How Are Pinched Nerves Treated?
There are a variety of ways that the traditional medical community treats a compressed nerve. Steroid injections, narcotics, NSAIDs and surgery are some of the most common. Unfortunately, all of these treatment methods come with potentially serious side effects. For that reason, many patients with pinched nerves seek out alternative methods to treat the problem.
Chiropractic Care Can Help
Traditional medical treatments deal with the area where the pain is evident, but chiropractic care looks at the patient’s entire body. This approach is especially important for compressed nerves, because pain may radiate far away from the site of the original injury. Furthermore, your chiropractic team will take your entire wellbeing into consideration to address what may have caused the pinched nerve so that the injury will be less likely to return in the future.
In order to make a diagnosis, your chiropractor will take a brief medical history before performing a physical examination. If he or she decides that your compression is caused by a subluxation (meaning one or more of the bones in your spine are out of alignment) an adjustment may be able to provide you with fast relief.
Many times, a patient with a pinched nerve is able to feel better immediately after their first visit, but additional adjustments may still be needed to correct the subluxation and promote the body’s ability to heal the pinched nerve.
If you’re suffering from a pinched nerve and would like to address the pain at its source instead of masking the problem with medications, contact your chiropractic team. They’ll be able to get to the root of your pinched nerve and provide you with relief from the pain you’re currently experiencing.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.