Do you want to endure the pain of a pinched nerve every day?
When you feel a pinched nerve in your neck or back, your first instinct is to seek out the available treatment options for pinched nerves in the neck and back.
Nerves are tiny structures that transmit signals of sensation and motion from their connected structures to the brain or spinal cord and vice versa. Nerves play an essential role in communicating what is going on in your body. Pain from a pinched or compressed nerve can be excruciating and can disrupt your quality of life.
What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve occurs when surrounding tissue receives too much pressure from a nerve. This results in an uncomfortable sensation of pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness, and can cause irritation or damage to the nerve. Bones, cartilage, muscle, or tendons can also be affected by this irritation.
Damage from a pinched nerve can be minor or severe. Depending on where in the body the issue is, it can also cause temporary or permanent problems. If you have a pinched nerve (nerve compression), look out for the warning signals your body is sending, such as pain, discomfort, numbness and or tingling and tight muscles.
Neck pain or back pain is often associated with pinched nerves, but almost any nerve or structure in the body can be affected. The neck muscles are often the cause of complaints because of how common poor posture and lack of neck support are in everyday living and ergonomics of computers and cell phones.
Living with the symptoms of a pinched nerve can be quite painful and no one wants that. Family First Chiropractic can help you find the relief you need by finding and eliminating the cause of your pinched nerves instead of simply treating the symptoms. Treating a pinched nerve is one of the main specialties at Family First Chiropractic.
The faster you get a diagnosis for nerve pain or nerve compression, the sooner you’ll get relief. Pain from a pinched nerve can be unbearable at its worst.
For example, the pain from a herniated disk in your lower spine will put pressure on a nerve root and cause pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Numbness and pain in the hands and fingers can result from a pinched nerve in the wrist; this is commonly known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve (Nerve Compression Syndrome)?
A pinched nerve can be caused by many reasons. Pressure on the nerve can irritate the nerve and its protective covering. Once this pressure is present, the nerve cannot send sensory impulses to the brain, which leads to numbness.
If the nerve endures this nerve compression for a short space of time, no major damage is done, and it is able to repair itself, even if this repair period takes a few weeks or months. However, permanent damage can occur if the compression is present for an extended period of time and not addressed properly.
It is imperative to act when you notice a pinched nerve or any sort of nerve compression. If you are unsure of what to do, contact one of the doctors at Family First Chiropractic.
Pinched Nerve Symptoms
The symptoms of a pinched nerve are usually unmistakable; the most common is usually a tingling sensation or numbness. These can become persistent over time and eventually lead to pain. This pain can be described as sharp or electrical, and some patients experience a burning sensation in the affected area. Be sure to seek medical advice if you experience any of this for an extended time.
Cervical radiculopathy, the medical term for a pinched nerve in the neck requires rest or treatment, depending on the severity, to avoid long-term problems.
Main Symptoms of Pinched Nerves in the Neck:
- Numbness, tingling, or decreased sensation in the arm and hand
- Sharp, aching, or burning pain that radiates outward
- Muscle weakness in the shoulder, arm, and/or hand
- Paresthetica (pins and needles sensations) and tingling in the arm or hand
- A feeling that a hand has fallen asleep
- Pain when moving the neck or head
- Pain when moving the shoulder
- Restricted range of motion when moving the neck or head
A pinched nerve in your lower back, or lumbar radiculopathy, can be extremely painful. Below are some symptoms of a pinched nerve in the back.
Main Symptoms of Pinched Nerves in the Back:
- Sciatica: pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hips, buttocks, legs, lower back, ankles, and feet.
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of reflex
- Sharp pain in the back with movement
- Pain when bending
Common areas where pinched nerves occur:
- Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, also known as meralgia paresthetica. This is caused by compression of the sensory nerve leading to the upper thigh. This also happens in pregnancy when the nerves are compressed by the enlarging uterus.
- Cervical spine: It is possible for pain or tingling to travel in the spine and radiate throughout the arms and shoulders because of a pinched nerve.
- Sciatic nerve issues occur when pain travels from the lower back into the leg. Pinched nerves in the lower back or lumbar spine are usually associated with sciatica. This pain also radiates to the hip and makes it painful to walk and bend.
How To Treat Pinched Nerves in the Back and Neck
When dealing with a pinched nerve in the neck or back, we know you will be eager to know your treatment options. As with any other medical issue, the treatment will vary from person to person and also on the location and severity of the pinched nerve. What relieves pain for carpal tunnel syndrome will not give relief for sciatica, so your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan based on your specific needs.
Resting is generally helpful for minor nerve compression where possible, and is usually the first suggestion if the pain is not severe. You should avoid any activity that worsens your symptoms. On the other end of the spectrum, exercise and active therapy and or manual therapy can be helpful when the compressed nerve is located in the neck or back. These can strengthen the muscles and reduce any pressure on the nerve.
The main goal in treating pinched nerves by the chiropractors at Family First Chiropractic is to eliminate the cause of the pain without resorting to prescription drugs and surgery thus just treating the symptoms. Some of the treatment options we use are:
Spinal adjustments – Specific chiropractic manipulation through spinal adjustments can help relieve pressure on the nerve and ensure the body is properly aligned. Patients express significant relief after spinal adjustments.
Stretching and exercise – Depending on the severity of your nerve compression, gentle neck and back exercises and stretching, with assistance from your chiropractor, can help relieve pinched nerves. They do this by loosening the surrounding muscles; it is recommended to do these exercises two to three times daily. We will show you the exact exercises you need when you visit us.
Postural Adjustments – Poor posture puts unnecessary stress on the body and may eventually lead to a pinched nerve. Our in-office postural adjustments will help to relieve this. We will also recommend useful ways to maintain good posture.
Cold and heat therapy – Using cold and heat therapy to relax and loosen muscles is a common practice in everyday life. Alternating between heat pads and ice packs will relax the muscles, send fresh blood to the area, and reduce inflammation. We will tell you the recommended combination and intervals after we assess your condition.
Weight loss/management – If your weight is contributing to your nerve compression, losing excess weight can reduce the stress on the body and give you relief. Incorporating safe and manageable exercises can also help.
Patients are also encouraged to take advantage of smart exercises and flexibility routines daily to encourage stretching of the muscles in the body. Avoid any repetitive motion that will put more pressure on the nerves. While drugs can help to reduce inflammation and help with pain, they are usually the last resort as they serve to mask the pain instead of addressing the cause.
If there is no relief from the pain after sufficient rest is undertaken, if the pain persists or worsens, we can explore other options.
Can a Pinched Nerve Go Away Without Treatment?
Pinched nerves can go away without treatment only if the damage done is minor. The nerves will eventually recover with rest and minimal or no pressure. However, it will be a matter of time before it returns and remember only 10% or less of the central nervous system perceives pain. If the nerve damage is severe, you must always seek further treatment. If you are unsure of what constitutes minor or severe pinched nerves, always consult one of our doctors for evaluation, examination and diagnostic x-ray.
Pinched nerves are common occurrences that might affect everyone at one point or another. If you sit at your desk all day without proper neck or back support, or if you sleep without a comfortable pillow, it is only a matter of time before your nerves give out and the compression can cause a problem and become more and more symptomatic.
Chiropractic care is the healthy and natural choice for treating your pinched nerves without surgery or prescription drugs. Our proven strategies, including adjustments, will allow your body to heal naturally and give you relief from pain.
The doctors at Family First Chiropractic in Dripping Springs, Texas, are waiting to help relieve your pinched nerves. Contact us if you are ready to address the cause of your pinched nerves.
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