Pinched nerves cause pain in various ways, and we've detailed how the nerves in our body work and connect to the back and offer the most effective treatments for pain management and healing.
Have you ever accidentally contorted your body in a way that resulted in a sharp pain that decreased mobility in your neck or arm? If so, you might have experienced a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere along the spine, including the upper, mid, and lower back. They can even happen in any joint of your body. We at Natural Care Chiropractic in Lindenhurst, IL, know all about the dreaded pinched nerve and how painful it can make doing the simplest tasks. Sometimes the nerve can move back into place naturally. However, if the pinched nerve is severe enough, you will need spinal adjustments to correct it.
What Is A Pinched Nerve?
A pinched/trapped/compressed nerve occurs when too much pressure is applied to a nerve in the body. For a simple explanation, think of a trapped water hose; when a hose is trapped, no water can pass through, but when it jams, it can flow but is disturbed. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere on your body, depending on where the nerves are impacted. The neck and shoulder, back and upper chest, arm and elbow (which commonly occurs when you strike your elbow's "funny bone"), and wrist and hand (which is sometimes caused by carpal tunnel syndrome) are the most common sites where you'll feel a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves can cause pain in various ways, but most of these can be affected by irritation to the joint. Disturbances in nerve signals can lead to a variety of problems, including unhealthy or dying nerve fibers in the body, which can lead to pain, numbness, tingling, or other symptoms.
What Causes Pinched Nerves?
A pinched nerve can occur due to a sudden injury from sports or an accident. A herniated disc can be caused by awkward lifting, tugging, or twisting actions. Many structural stress factors may cause a pinched nerve, and chiropractors specialize in reducing that stress and preventing pinched nerves. Although a pinched nerve might be painful, it can typically be treated with rest, over-the-counter medicine, and physical therapy. The majority of people heal completely from a pinched nerve. Pinched nerves can affect people of any age, but those 50 and older are more prone to develop them due to arthritis and degeneration in the spine and other regions of the body. Below are the common causes of a pinched nerve:
Inflammation of the muscles, ligaments, and other structures surrounding the nerve can cause pinched nerves. Tension and inflammation in other spine structures, including muscles and ligaments, can also contribute to the compression of the spinal nerves. Rheumatoid arthritis, for example, is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints, which can put pressure on adjacent nerves. Inflammation in the facet joints (joints in the spine that allow you to bend or twist your back) pushes the nerve that leaves your spine.
Nerve pinching in the arms or legs can be caused by repeated movements of damaged or dysfunctional joints. Repeated movements can lead to nerve compression, which narrows the space in which they move between the joints without much protection from soft tissue. Repetitive motion and chronic postural habits, such as long periods of typing on a keyboard, incorrect positioning of the wrist, or excessive elbow prodding, can create wrist and hand stress. Carpal tunnel syndrome may occur as a result of this, causing tendon inflammation and pressure on the median nerve in your arm.
The spine and its discs "wear and tear" as people age. Spinal discs can lose water content and flatten over time. The vertebrae (spinal cord bones) shift closer together, and the body responds by forming bone growths. Nerves can be compressed by these bone spurs.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
Numbness, tingling, or burning sensation in your arms, legs, fingers, or toes
Pain radiating along your spine
Severe headaches or migraines
Pain that shoots down your arm or leg
It may sound like a small problem, but those who have experienced it know it can be very painful when a nerve is jammed. When a nerve is jammed in the middle of the back, the pain usually radiates to the sides of the ribs and chest. Pain and other symptoms may not occur at the actual location. Instead, the path of the nerve may be compressed or impaired, sometimes with severe pain. Some people feel this excruciating, sharp, shooting pain due to a pinched nerve in their neck, making it impossible to participate in everyday activities or do simple tasks.
The pinching of a nerve in the neck can have symptoms such as a reduction in the range of movement of the neck, and it can lead to shoulder pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms. In addition to pain and discomfort, inflamed nerves can cause muscle spasms. You can also press on the sciatic nerve running down the back leg. This can lead to problems with disc growth, as it can also pressure the nerves. Nerves compressed in places along the spinal cord, such as in the arms and legs, can impair the function of organs even if people do not notice the effects physically.
If sciatica is felt as pain when a nerve is pinched, a herniated disc or piriformis syndrome can be the trigger. If this occurs with a herniated disc in the spine, it can lead to serious problems with the rest of the lower body. The pressure presses the nerve roots and if the spine is too far apart, the intervertebral disc can get pushed out. Sciatica pain can be debilitating, but chiropractic treatment can ease it. Chiropractors can treat pinched nerves in the spine by reducing nerve pain and stiffness, aching, tense, and inflamed muscles.
While people see chiropractors for a variety of reasons - headache relief, shoulder and muscle pain, and de-numbness in the outer extremities - going to a chiropractor can be beneficial for easing nerve pain.
Relief from nerve pain is possible if the cause is identified and treated by a trusted chiropractor. Your chiropractor can help you determine the cause of the problem and how to ease your pain. Trusted chiropractors can help you work through the issues to identify the causes of nerve pain and work with you on a long-term treatment plan. Here are the treatments that chiropractors can offer for nerve pain relief:
Chiropractors understand how the nerves in our body connect to the back. The pain of pinched nerves and the root cause of pinched nerves is one of the many specialties of chiropractic medicine. Chiropractic care can help eliminate subluxations in the body by improving communication between nerves and helping your body heal naturally.
Chiropractic treatment involves adjusting the spine to reduce the pressure on the affected nerve. Once the pressure is gone, you will experience relief from the pain and other symptoms that can cause pinched nerves. Chiropractic adjustments and other therapies can relieve neck pain by reducing inflammation, stress, and general joint disorders.
Our chiropractors at Natural Care Chiropractic also offer physical therapy, which involves exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in the affected area to reduce pressure on the nerves. Stretching and mild exercise might help reduce minor pain and relieve pressure on your nerves. Consult a physical therapist to determine which exercises are appropriate for your specific condition.
How a Chiropractor Can Help
A pinched nerve can be caused by subluxation, disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, or disc herniation. These are silent afflictions in their beginning stages, so it's important to see a chiropractor regularly. In difficult situations where nerve pain cannot be remedied, chiropractic treatments can provide relief from the accompanying pain and associated symptoms. While typical chiropractic treatments are spinal adjustments, we also offer other treatments that can help.
Do you think you could benefit from safe chiropractic treatment? Call us at Natural Care Chiropractic today to make an appointment. Our chiropractors can treat patients with painful nerve pain and discuss how to manage and alleviate your painful condition.