A pinched nerve is a common complaint that can cause a wide variety of symptoms from pain to numbness. In many cases, the condition can be resolved quickly through chiropractic care; sometimes with just one session. However, chiropractic should be treated as an ongoing practice for better health and wellness. Not only can it help you better manage pain and resolve many health problems, it can also help prevent injuries and certain conditions from developing. This often means that seeking chiropractic for a pinched nerve is a wise decision and can bring a quick resolution.
What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve is the result of excessive pressure being applied to a nerve. This pressure can come from muscles, bones, tendons, or cartilage and causes a disruption in the nerve’s ability to function. This causes a variety of symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness.
In the spine, a herniated disc can put pressure on the nerve root, causing pain and discomfort. In the wrist, it can cause a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Why is a Pinched Nerve so Challenging?
The issue with a pinched nerve is finding the source. When a nerve is pinched, the pain and other symptoms may not be at the actual site. Instead, the pain and other sensations can travel to other parts of the body, including down the leg or through the arm. This can make it difficult to treat, but an experienced, knowledgeable chiropractor can assess the situation and treat the condition, bringing relief to the patient.
What are the Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve can manifest with many different symptoms, often depending on its location in the body. They may worsen while the patient is sleeping. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pain that is aching or sharp
- Lower or mid back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- General spinal pain
- Pain that radiates down the leg or arm
- Numbness or tingling in the legs, arms, fingers, or toes
- Burning sensation in the legs, arms, fingers, or toes
- Muscle weakness in the legs or back
- Frequently feeling like a hand or food is “asleep”
When the nerve is not pinched for very long, it typically does not leave the patient with any permanent damage. When the pressure is relieved, normal function returns rather quickly. On the other hand, if the pressure is not relieved, it can cause permanent damage to the nerve, leading to chronic pain.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve can have a number of causes. Wrist or rheumatoid arthritis is a common cause, but others may include:
- Repetitive motion that places stress on parts of the body
- Sports activities
- Certain hobbies that require repetitive motion
What are the Treatments for a Pinched Nerve?
The first line of treatment for a pinched nerve is rest. Medications may be recommended or prescribed, such as NSAIDs and muscle relaxers, but remember every drug has side effects so make sure you talk to your medical doctor before moving forward.
Physical therapy is another common treatment. The patient is taught certain exercises that stretch and strengthen muscles around the pinched nerve so that it relieves pressure. They are also given self-management techniques that they can do at home to get relief. However, if the pinched nerve is do to a misalignment in the spine, it doesn’t matter how many exercises you do; they won’t fix the problem. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended. This is usually a last resort.
Does Chiropractic for a Pinched Nerve Really Work?
Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for pinched nerve because it addresses the root cause and works toward fixing the problem through spinal manipulation and very specific chiropractic adjustments. By bringing the body into alignment, pressure on the nerves is relieved. This helps relieve the pain, but also facilitates healing allowing the patient to return to their normal daily activities and experience less down time.