A pinched nerve occurs when a disc or vertebral bone spur directly compresses a nerve, causing significant pain that feels like an electrical sensation traveling down the arms or legs. This condition is found only in a small percentage of people visiting a chiropractor yearly. In reality, only 5% of the general population with pain will suffer from a pinched nerve.
This article will explore pinched nerves and how spinal misalignment can contribute to their development before explaining the various ways that partnering with a chiropractor for a pinched nerve can help eliminate the root of your pain.
What Is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve occurs when surrounding tissue, such as bone, disc, muscle, or tendons, presses down and applies increased pressure to a nerve. When a nerve is compressed, it can cause severe pain, tingling, numbness, and even muscle weakness in a person’s body and extremities.
A pinched nerve results from the body’s reaction to internal damage caused by micro-injury to a nerve. This can result in significant pain and inflammation and cause the body to assume a tense, guarded posture.
Pinched nerves can occur in many body areas, not just the neck. For example, it’s possible to experience pinched nerves in the:
- Wrists and hands
Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
- Numbness or decreased sensation in areas supplied by the nerve
- Sharp, aching, or burning pain that may radiate outward
- Tingling, pins, and needles (paresthesia)
- Muscle weakness in the affected area
- Frequent sensations that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
When a person wakes up with a kink in their neck and has not previously been injured, their pain is likely due to spinal misalignment rather than a pinched nerve. There can be inflammation, pain, and tense muscles (guarded posture) even without a pinched nerve. It’s important to understand that pain symptoms often attributed to this condition are commonly caused by small spinal misalignments that do not involve actual nerve compression.
Chronic spinal misalignment caused by poor posture and previous injury can cause long-term inflammation that irritates the joint. When inflammation is high in this area, it can also irritate the nerve. At this point, the body will show warning signs like pain and may contract muscles into a protective, guarded position.
Causes of Pinched Nerves
Pinched nerves occur when excessive pressure from surrounding tissues, such as bone spurs and herniated discs in the spine, compresses a nerve.
Pinched nerves are commonly caused by bone degeneration, with bone spurs forming close to the nerve due to unbalanced pressure over time. Compression is most frequent where the nerve exits the vertebral foramen, and spinal cord encroachment can occur in advanced stages.
Why a Chiropractor for a Pinched Nerve Makes Sense
How exactly does working with a chiropractor for a pinched nerve help? Chiropractors have a variety of treatments at their disposal when it comes to assessing and treating pinched nerves.
That’s because chiropractors are masters of the musculoskeletal system.
Many treatments are designed to relieve pain and treat the underlying cause of the pinched nerve(s). Chiropractic care emphasizes proactive care and well-being, beginning with promoting the body’s natural healing processes. Such treatments include:
- Chiropractic adjustments: Chiropractors use gentle pressure on joints, including the spine, to restore joint function, reducing tension and stress.
- Massage therapy: Soft tissue therapies, like myofascial release, are employed by chiropractors to address pain, tension, and adhesions in the tissue surrounding the joints, improving circulation and aiding in the healing process.
- Rehabilitative stretches and exercises: Chiropractors guide patients through specific stretches and exercises to strengthen muscles, address imbalances, and enhance stability in the spine and shoulders.
- Postural correction techniques: Advanced exercises and neuromuscular reeducation help train the body to maintain proper posture naturally.
It’s important to understand that the treatments used will depend upon factors such as the location where the pain is felt.
Chiropractic Treatment for a Pinched Nerve By Area
|Target Area||Chiropractic Treatment of Pinched Nerve|
|Wrists and Hands||
Pinched nerves and other conditions that mimic their symptoms can be caused by poor posture and spinal misalignment. When a person’s spinal misalignment is severe, many standard treatments, like muscle therapy and exercise, are ineffective in providing long-term pain relief.
Chiropractic care not only provides long-term treatment for spinal misalignment but also aims to prevent spinal misalignment from progressing to this stage. It’s essential to pay attention to early pain warning signs and seek medical attention promptly, as early treatment can prevent the development of a pinched nerve.
It’s also important to note that some patients seeking chiropractic care may mistakenly believe they have a pinched nerve. Pain in the neck or upper, mid-, or lower back is commonly misattributed to a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve may not cause the problem but involves the joints, inflammation, and the body’s natural muscle-guarding response. In these cases, chiropractic adjustments can help.
When considering treatment for a pinched nerve or what you believe to be a pinched nerve, you want to identify the proper condition to adequately treat the root cause of your pain.
PostureWorks: The Best Chiropractor for Pinched Nerves
Chiropractors for pinched nerves use safe and effective treatments; however, it’s crucial to identify the real cause of your pain so that the best treatments can have long-term success and efficacy.
The team at PostureWorks uses advanced treatments like Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) as the foundation for its treatment strategies in Denver, CO, and San Francisco, CA. We comprehensively assess your health by examining your medical history and performing an in-depth postural analysis, complete with x-rays, to understand your spinal health better.
We use the analysis to develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs, allowing you to receive only the most beneficial treatments. Our comprehensive treatment strategy is what makes us the best chiropractor for pinched nerves.
Contact us today to learn more about chiropractic care for a pinched nerve or to schedule your appointment with PostureWorks in Lakewood or San Francisco.
Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive as with all chiropractic care.