Medical Library | March 21, 2013

Can a Chiropractic Adjustment Help With A Pinched Nerve?

back-pain3Pinched nerves can occur in a variety of places throughout the body. The most common areas are in the neck and back, but they can occur wherever pressure is being placed on a nerve. Nerves respond to this compression by sending pain signals to the brain, and the pain can radiate from where the nerve is being damaged to other parts of the body.

Common Causes of Pinched Nerves

When bone, cartilage, tendons or muscles exert pressure on a nerve, this can lead to decreased blood flow. Even a mildly painful pinched nerve can still cause damage, especially if it goes untreated and the underlying cause is not addressed. Some of the most common causes of pinched nerves include the following:

  • Poor posture, especially when sitting for long periods of time
  • Poor night’s sleep
  • Heavy or awkward lifting
  • Repetitive motion
  • Degenerative disease

If these causes are not addressed, fluid can build up around the nerve and cause further compression and even scarring.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms can occur at any time. People with poor lifting techniques might not feel the pain until hours later, and the pain can cause a person to awaken from a deep sleep. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

  • Sharp, radiating pain
  • Feelings of numbness or of pins and needles
  • Weakness at either the site of the pinched nerve or in one of the affected limbs, or both

Some individuals also experience feelings of warmth or tightness around the areas of the pinched nerve. Muscle spasm-like feelings are also sometimes reported.

Options Available

Pain medications cover up the pain without treating the actual condition and its cause. Medication will not take the pressure off the nerve. In fact, pain medication can make matters worse, and not just because of the risk of addiction.

Folks with poor posture or non-ergonomic lifting techniques won’t improve if the pain is merely masked. This could lead to more pressure being put on the nerve which can cause more damage. It can be a never-ending cycle where each time pain medication is needed, the problem only gets worse.

Surgery is an option for pinched nerve pain, but the risks sometimes outweigh the rewards. Surgery always carries the possibility of complications and infection, and it is often followed by months of rehabilitation. This obviously leads to missed time from work and a decrease in quality of life. While surgery sometimes relieves the pain, it isn’t necessarily a permanent solution. Many individuals have found they need follow-up surgery because the pain recurs after a short period of time. This is often because the underlying problem was not corrected in the first place.

Chiropractic Care for Pinched Nerve

Chiropractic care for a pinched nerve has helped millions of people live a pain-free life. A skilled chiropractor will address the underlying issue that is causing the pinched nerve. After a thorough examination, a chiropractor will outline a treatment plan that incorporates both short and long-term goals.

Many individuals have experienced immediate relief after a chiropractic realignment. This is true even for folks who have already tried a variety of options before visiting a chiropractor. This is encouraging news for the thousands of individuals who are currently in pain because of a pinched nerve.

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