Pinched Nerves: Everything you need to know about Nerves Under Pressure
The term "pinched nerve" is something we hear often as chiropractors. Some medical professionals also refer to a pinched nerve as a compressed nerve or cervical radiculopathy. Whatever you like to call it, the root cause of a pinched nerve is frequently musculoskeletal in nature so chiropractic care tends to be one of the most highly effective treatment options. Chiropractors manipulate the bones and the muscle of the entire body with one goal; to relieve pressure on nerves. A pinched nerve can happen anywhere in the body but most common it occurs in the neck, lower back, and mid-back. There are varying degrees of a pinched nerve. Mild pressure on a nerve will likely present differently from a severe or prolonged pinched nerve. It is common for symptoms to worsen if left untreated so make sure you seek treatment as soon as you can.
Chiropractors manipulate the bones and the muscle of the entire body with one goal; to relieve pressure on the nerves.
Symptoms May Include:
Neck pain, Mid back pain, Lower back pain
Persistent sharp pain with certain movements
Pain and/or restricted range of motion
Radicular symptoms such as radiating or traveling pain
Numbness/tingling, weakness, or burning into arms/legs, hands/toes etc.
A "pinched nerve" is a broad and rather vague term. In its most basic usage, a pinched nerve is simply nerve compression caused by a joint that is misaligned and causes pressure on a nerve. Secondary to that, soft tissues (like muscles and ligaments) can become swollen and tight which also increases the pressure and congestion surrounding a nerve. This can be caused by repetitive and overuse injuries or physical trauma and accidents. Most commonly though, a pinched nerve is the result of poor posture and alignment, too much stress on one area, and high levels of joint inflammation. In more severe cases, a pinched nerve is not only irritated from a spinal misalignment and inflamed soft tissues but is now also being compressed by a disc bulge/herniation or an osteophyte (bone spur). All of these effectively decrease the space that the nerve needs to function properly.
Causes of a Pinched Nerve
Muscle Entrapment/Overuse Injuries
Chiropractic care is specifically designed to identify and correct pinched nerves at every stage. The key to treating a pinched nerve is the chiropractic adjustment and to treat it early. The pinched nerve is likely due to a bone and muscle, aka the joint complex being out of position or "stuck". A subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebral joint complex which causes pressure and irritation on a nerve. I often refer to this as the precursor to a pinched nerve. The nerve is the only communication system between our brain and body. The longer the nerve is compressed the weaker the healing signals become.
The key to treating a pinched nerve is the chiropractic adjustment and to treat it early.
Luckily, most cases resolve with conservative care. Avoiding activities in which aggravate your symptoms and maintaining proper posture can help reduce the occurrence of a pinched nerve. Additionally maintaining a healthy weight and eating a low inflammatory diet reduces the likelihood of injury. Treatment options for a pinched nerve usually include:
From the desk of Dr. Lisette Miller Kondrad at Clark Road Chiropractic Center. If you have specific questions about your health or considering chiropractic care, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your treatment options during a complimentary consultation.