An Overview Of Pinched Nerve Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If you find it difficult to get a comfortable night’s sleep or have limited range of motion because of radiating pain in your shoulder, neck, back, leg, or hip, you may have a pinched nerve. The “pins and needles” feeling of a pinched nerve is often accompanied by pain, and the discomfort can impact many aspects of your daily life. When the pain and other symptoms of a pinched nerve persist despite resting the affected area, chiropractic care can provide significant relief.

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What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is a nerve that has been compressed by adjacent bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. When increased pressure is placed on a nerve, it is unable to send the appropriate sensory impulses to the brain. This can lead to numbness, tingling, and pain. 

What causes a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve occurs when surrounding tissues apply too much pressure to the nerve. This can happen if you have a herniated disc that compresses a nerve in the spine. If your job requires you to perform repetitive motions, inflammation of muscles and tendons can also cause a pinched nerve. 

You don’t have to experience an injury to suffer from a compressed nerve. Our spines naturally deteriorate as we age, and a nerve can become compressed when the discs that cushion the spine become brittle or if arthritis develops in the joints that connect the vertebrae. Obesity is another risk factor for pinched nerves, as excess weight adds pressure to nerves over time.

What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?

The most common symptom of a pinched nerve is a tingling feeling, like the affected area has “fallen asleep.” This tingling can be accompanied by sharp, aching, or burning pain in the neck, back, shoulder, leg, or hip. A pinched nerve can also cause pain that radiates down to your arm or leg, making it difficult to sit or stand in the same position for an extended period.

Rather than tingling or pain, some people with a compressed nerve feel numbness or decreased sensation in the affected area. If a pinch nerve persists for a long time without being treated, the individual may eventually experience muscle weakness.

How is a pinched nerve treated?

The treatment for a pinched nerve depends on the location and cause of the problem. Resting the affected area is often effective at easing symptoms, as is taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. If the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve don’t respond to self-care measures at home, the problem may require diagnosis and treatment by a chiropractor.

A chiropractor will take a thorough history of your symptoms and perform a careful physical exam to note any misaligned vertebrae. When vertebrae slip out of place, they can compress the surrounding nerves. To put your vertebrae back where they belong, your spine will be adjusted using a gentle hands-on method or a special device. With your spine properly aligned, the pressure on your nerves is instantly relieved, restoring healthy blood flow. Regular adjustments, along with massage and physical therapy, can help your pinched nerve heal faster and prevent the pain from returning in the future. 

Treat the root problem of your pinched nerve with chiropractic care

The symptoms of a pinched nerve can be debilitating. Though the pain can often be alleviated with over-the-counter remedies, discomfort will likely persist until the root cause of the issue is treated. At Loy Chiropractic, our natural approach to wellness and healing has helped thousands of patients get relief from the pain associated with pinched nerves and other traumas. 

Your treatment doesn’t end when you leave our office, though. A big part of our philosophy is educating our patients on how they can play an active role in their own care. After your spinal adjustment, we’ll recommend a few lifestyle modifications and exercises you can do at home that will strengthen and stretch your muscles to prevent pain in the future. If you’re committed to optimizing your health, give us a call to schedule an appointment at (858) 436-7162.