Have you ever suffered from a pinched nerve? Most people who have would agree that it’s not exactly a lot of fun – some who suffer from this issue only experience mild discomfort, but for many, the experience can be debilitating. If you’ve found this blog because you’re suffering with one right now, don’t worry – help is at hand!
What is a pinched nerve?
Pinched nerves are not exactly what most people would call a good time. A pinched or compressed nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or leg. It can be debilitating! Pinched nerves occur when too much pressure is applied to a nerve by surrounding tissues – this might be a “normal” structure, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons but could also be the result of pressure being caused by another issue, such as a herniated disc.
It’s a common issue because where the nerves themselves are leaving your spinal column they actually have very little protection. And if a disc, ligament, or bone spur get near a nerve…ouch! The pain can start there and then travel the entire length of that nerve root resulting in pain that radiates into your arms and legs. Let’s just say that your nerves don’t like being pushed around!
How to treat a pinched nerve
The good news is that you can experience a lot of relief by taking the pressure off of the nerves. Research has shown that chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pinching or compression on those delicate nerves roots. And with less pressure on the nerve, you can finally find relief. The first step is to work out what the root cause of the issue is – if a pinched nerve is really the result of a herniated disc, some short term care may relieve the pain from the neve, but some longer-term work will be needed to address the disc to avoid a relapse. Similarly, some cases, caused by issues like bone spurs, may be managed with chiropractic or similar approaches, but a small operation to remove the bone spur might be the best long term solution.
In many ways, understanding a pinched nerve isn’t hard – it’s working out what the root cause is which is the key to overcoming the issue. This is why at complete chiropractic we’ve invested heavily into the latest imaging, x-ray and other diagnostic equipment so that we can quickly ascertain the source of a problem. This also means that, unlike some chiropractors who rely less on imaging, we’re also able to refer you to a more appropriate care provider if we’re not likely to be able to help you the best.
Avoiding a pinched nerve
Take a look around and do some “people watching” today. You will see that many people walk crooked or bent over towards one side. Sometimes this is the result of a pinched nerve. They are trying to lean away from the pain and open up those nerve channels. It’s not always possible to avoid pinched nerves completely, but, by staying active, maintaining a full range of motion, and getting periodic chiropractic care- you can maximise your chances of avoiding this painful complaint and ensure a quicker recovery if it does become an issue for you.
 Cervical radiculopathy: a systematic review on treatment by spinal manipulation and measurement with the Neck Disability Index. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 2012. Symptomatic, MRI Confirmed, Lumbar Disc Herniations: A Comparison of Outcomes Depending on the Type and Anatomical Axial Location of the Hernia in Patients Treated With High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulation. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2016.