Nerve Pain and Chiropractic Care
Having a pinched nerve in the neck can be a very painful experience, especially for those who practice an active lifestyle.
Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a "pinched nerve," is all too common, and because of this, many people do not recognize just how serious they can be.
Nerve pain not only can cause debilitating pain, but it can also lead to permanent muscle or organ damage.
One common question regarding nerve pain, is whether or not it can go away on its own.
Here's what you need to know about Pinched Nerves.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
When a nerve becomes compressed or caught in between tendons or bones, it's referred to as pinched.
All nerves in the body extend from the base of the brain and enter the spinal cord. They continue down until they communicate messages from the brain to select organs and muscles.
When the spine is not aligned properly, it will put pressure on the nerve at the exit point. If left untreated the pressure on the nerve will continue to be compressed and it will eventually weaken the nerve.
A herniated disc occurs when the fibrous outer portion of the disc ruptures or tears, and the jelly-like core squeezes out.
When the herniated disc compresses a nearby nerve, as in the image below, the result can be a pinched nerve.
Some common symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
- Pain in the area of the pinched nerve
- Radiating pain
- Burning Sensation
Symptoms can be incredibly diverse. Sometimes the pain isn't in the affected area.
For example, if someone may experience coldness in their fingers, or a tingling sensation in their forearm, wrist, or palm.
Because the symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary so greatly, treatment is often delayed.
Over time, nerve compression can cause permanent nerve damage, not only to the nerve itself but also to any of the muscles or organs that the nerve supplies with signals from the brain.
Will Nerve Pain Go Away on Its Own?
Rest assured: Most cases of pinched nerves go away on their own. However, there comes a point when you should seek medical attention for your back pain or neck pain caused by a pinched nerve. Watch out for these severe symptoms.
Although you may not need surgery to heal, in order for the pain to go away completely and not come back, you do need to take action and receive treatment from a professional chiropractor.
A pinched nerve is always due to pressure. That pressure is the result of a misalignment of the spine.
Chiropractors call this a subluxation. This does not mean the spine is pressing on the nerve, although sometimes it can.
A misalignment of the vertebrae can compress one side of the disc and make it bulge out. The bulging of the disc can press onto the nerve and pinch it to the point of causing very serious pain and discomfort all the way from the neck to the lower back.
Regardless of the reason for the compressed nerve, the pressure on the nerve needs to be removed so it can flow freely once more.
The misalignment in the spine needs to be fixed. When the spine is aligned properly, the vertebrae will go back to its natural position releasing pressure, restoring proper function, and relieving back pain.
If you're waiting for the body to heal itself without doing anything, that is simply not possible. It is, however, possible for the vertebrae to shift, which could cause a release in pressure on the pinched nerve.
This does not however mean that you are healed. The pain may stop, allowing the body to adapt but not heal.
The body may adapt so that you can continue to survive and thrive as much as possible, however it will leave an area of the body much more vulnerable to re-injury because it never properly healed in the first place.
A good Chiropractor will take an x-ray to find out which area of the spine is misaligned so they can provide the necessary treatment for the body to heal correctly.
What Happens If A Pinched Nerve Doesn't Go Away?
Most of the time, you won’t need groundbreaking surgeries to heal from a pinched nerve.
But to be sure they heal completely, and for complete pain relief, you do have to take action.
After all, there’s a good chance the issue is a result of overuse, athletic activities, postural issue, or some other lifestyle factor that must be addressed for healing to take place.
The chiropractors at the Arrowhead Clinic often suggest one or all of the following to help your body heal when suffering from a pinched nerve:
- Use ice and heat – Ice can work to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain while moist heat can help encourage circulation once the inflammation has passed
- Exercise and stretches – You may have a muscular imbalance contributing to the problem or tight tendons that are making things worse; once the problem is identified, stretches and exercise can be given to you to help improve your condition
- Chiropractic adjustment – If a joint restriction or dysfunction is contributing to your pinched nerve, the chiropractors at the Arrowhead Clinic can help resolve those issues and allow your body to heal itself
- Avoid overuse – Pay attention to repetitive actions, especially involving the affected area
Chiropractic Care for Pinched Nerves
While it may be true that a pinched nerve is not going to spontaneously heal all by itself, that does not mean there is no way to treat it.
If left untreated, they can cause permanent damages and neuropathy.
The most effective treatment method for pinched nerves is specific chiropractic adjustments.
If you are experiencing any symptoms, like pain or numbness in the lower back or neck, you should see a chiropractor right away.
The Chiropractors at Arrowhead Clinic have years of experience treating patients with pinched nerves.
Our chiropractors will locate the source of your problem and remove the interference with specific spinal adjustments and physical therapy techniques.
Each patient will be evaluated and given a specialized treatment plan based upon the exam findings.
As opposed to just masking symptoms like pain and numbness, our chiropractors believe in finding and treating the problem at its source.
If you're experiencing pain or numbness because of a pinched nerve in your neck, do not hesitate to contact our experienced chiropractors for treatment and recovery.
Click on the button below to speak with one of our Chiropractors today!