How to Fix My Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerves can be excruciating and they are one of the most common reasons people visit a chiropractor. A pinched nerve can limit your range of motion by making it painful to look over your shoulder or bend over and it can reduce your quality of life.
If you have a pinched nerve that causes chronic pain, numbness, or weakness, a chiropractor may employ a number of techniques to reduce pressure on the nerve and ease your pain.
Understanding Your Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve refers to the nerve running along the back of the spine and it happens when the nerve is constricted, compressed, or stretched. This may be the result of trauma, bone spurs caused by osteoarthritis, a back injury, a fall, stenosis, or another condition. The severity of a pinched nerve generally depends on the extent of the vertebral misalignment that causes pressure and irritation of the nerve. Even a minor spinal misalignment can interrupt the nerve’s ability to communicate with tissues and cells and cause pain.
Pinched nerves can be caused by many issues:
– Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis can affect the joints on the back of the intervertebral foramina, or the hole from which the nerve emerges, and cause degeneration or bone spurs that reduce the size of this opening.
– Disc degeneration. Spinal discs are soft cushions between vertebrae that work to absorb shock and keep the spine in alignment. When discs become thinner, usually due to age, the disc begins to degenerate. This makes the opening from which the nerve emerges smaller.
– Herniated discs. A herniated disc occurs when the inner portion of the disc pushes out through the harder exterior, putting pressure on the nerve. Even small movements can cause a herniated disc to rub against the nerve and lead to significant pain.
– Spinal misalignment. A subluxation or misalignment can put pressure on the spinal nerve.
Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve
A chiropractor may use one or several of these techniques to reduce your pain and take pressure off the nerve.
– Chiropractic Adjustments
Chiropractic adjustment manipulates the spine and neck to correct subluxations or misalignments of the spine. Chiropractic adjustment is often the first treatment option when someone is suffering from a pinched nerve as it’s a non-invasive, affordable, and effective treatment option.
Traditional medicine only treats the area in which pain is evident, but chiropractic care focuses on the entire body. This is an effective approach as a pinched nerve in the lower back or neck can cause pain in the shoulders, arms, or legs. Chiropractic adjustment reduces constriction of the impinged nerve while relaxing muscles in the affected area that contribute to pain and inflammation by applying direct pressure to the pinched nerve.
Many patients who choose spinal adjustment to treat a pinched nerve experience immediate relief after the first visit, although additional adjustments may be necessary to fully correct the misalignment and promote healing.
Physical therapy can be an effective way to treat a pinched nerve due to a car accident, spinal condition like stenosis, sports injury, pregnancy, or an underlying medical condition. Physiotherapy may combine a number of techniques to relieve your pain such as:
– Ice packs and/or heat therapy
– Ultrasound treatment
– Flexion Distraction
This decompression technique uses a specially designed table to relieve pressure on the spine and improve spinal alignment. Flexion distraction therapy is a non-invasive chiropractic treatment primarily used to treat neck and back pain caused by a pinched nerve, herniated disc, or whiplash.
Pinched nerves in the back are often caused by slipped or herniated discs that are injured and squeezed out of their proper alignment by a spinal subluxation. This can put pressure on nerves traveling through the spine and cause pain. A pinched nerve can also result from spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal opening. As this opening narrows, the nerves that run through it have less space and become impinged.
Flexion distraction therapy reduces tension on nerves by increasing the height of spinal discs and improving circulation. This helps the discs regain their central position between vertebrae while relieving irritation on nerves.
– Nutritional Counseling
Your diet may be contributing to your pain. Nutritional deficiencies can often be an underlying factor in the development of pinched nerves, especially deficiencies in calcium and potassium. Foods rich in calcium and potassium include fortified orange juice, spinach, kale, low-fat dairy products, avocados, bananas, and nuts. At Chiropractic Fit, we can incorporate nutritional counseling into your personalized treatment plan to help you improve your health through smart food choices.
What to Expect
When you visit a chiropractor for a pinched nerve, your initial appointment will likely be dedicated to gathering your medical history and conducting a physical exam to understand the cause of your pain. In some cases, an X-ray may be used to establish the cause of the subluxation or misalignment of the spine that is putting pressure on the nerve.
The first course of treatment may involve chiropractic adjustments to your spine to carefully shift your spine back into proper alignment and release impinged nerves. Once your spine is in proper alignment, your chiropractor may recommend additional rehabilitation treatments that may include ultrasound therapy and physical therapy to maintain proper posture and restore the delicate balance of the back, neck, and spine. Physiotherapy works to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain for long-lasting results.
Schedule an Appointment
Nerve pain is serious. A pinched nerve can cause disabling pain, reduce your quality of life, and even affect your overall health. If you are suffering from a pinched nerve that has not improved after rest, a chiropractor can help you with a personalized treatment plan designed to address the cause of the problem rather than treating the symptom. Contact Chiropractic Fit in Chatsworth today to schedule your initial appointment and learn more about how chiropractic care can help with a pinched nerve.