A pinched nerve can cause a lot of pain and yet most of us are unaware as to how this starts. Simply stated, a pinched nerve is a medical term for an impaired function of a nerve that is under a lot of pressure. Anyone who has experienced this knows that it can be quite painful and sometimes debilitating.
Pinched nerves develop when one or more nerves become constricted or compressed by muscle, a bone, tendon, or cartilage. How this comes about is often by poor posture, overdoing physical activity, obesity, or if there is a genetic predisposition. This condition happens to nerves that control muscle movements or to nerves that relay sensations to the brain.
What Exactly Are Nerves?
A nerve is a microscopic cell that has bundles of fibres running throughout the body transmitting impulses of sensation to the spinal cord or brain. Some of these are several feet in length. A nerve cell that is in the spinal cord or in the brain is known as a central nerve; and nerves that originate in the spine that extend to the arms or legs are called peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are ‘packages’ of millions of nerve fibres that leave the spinal cord and branch out to their target muscles to help make them move. These nerve fibres also extend to the skin to provide us with the ability to feel.
The Onset of a Pinched Nerve
Symptoms of a pinched nerve may begin with numbness, tingling, burning sensation or shooting pains down the buttocks, legs, or in the neck, shoulders, arms and fingers.
Sometimes the sensations (or pain) you feel are is nowhere near the point of pressure. A pinched nerve in the lower back may originate in the calf. If there is constant pressure then the pain may increase. The person afflicted with this may experience a loss of movement, reflexes, and atrophy in the muscles. Once the pressure is relieved then the pain diminishes.
Many people tend to associate pinched nerves with the neck yet it is most common in the lower area of the back. A trained health professional can follow the pain to determine the origin.
Pinched nerves in the lower back can inhibit a person from participating in sports and even from walking, standing, twisting or lifting something.
If there is a pinched nerve in the neck then the pain will shoot down the arm. Pinched nerves in the neck are generally the result of repeatedly bending the neck but sometimes they can happen due to an impact. When there is a pinched nerve in the neck sometimes the pain can be so horrific that it limits neck motion. Sometimes this is brief and other times it can last quite some time. In severe situations a person can lose their reflex and muscle atrophy sets it.
Some people describe a pinched nerve in the neck as though it is ‘shooting lightning’.
Pinched Nerve Treatments
If you rarely experience a pinched nerve then this is something you need not worry about. However, if this occurs on a somewhat frequent basis then it’s advisable to seek treatment.
There are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available on the market such as ibuprofen or aspirin but these are designed to mask the pain, not treat the source of the problem. Some doctors may even say that surgery is required and if this happens to you be sure to get a second and a third opinion. Surgery is not only invasive it involves being right near the spinal cord. Many patients who have taken this route discover that surgery may only relieve pain for a period of time and it re-occurs if the overall structure of the spine is not corrected.
The chiropractic treatment methods do not cover up the pain or the symptoms; it treats damaged areas so that there is complete healing. Often this may include a scan of your spine and central nervous system using the most up-to-date technology available. This helps to target the exact location of the pinched nerve(s). No two individuals are alike so an individualized treatment plan is required in order to receive maximum results.
Often there will be proper chiropractic adjustments required to help relieve the pressure. Since daily activities are sometimes the cause of pinched nerves to begin with the treatment will include ‘the whole picture’. This means putting a plan in place to avoid the activities that cause the problem as well as looking at your diet. Good quality food is the fuel your body needs to help recover and regain good health.
If you have suffered with pinched nerves and want to explore a holistic approach to treatment that works then Chiro-Med Rehab Clinic can help you. Their staff is fully qualified professionals who have the know-how and the experience to help you.
Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a walk-in clinic conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Call 905-918-0419 for more information or to book a consultation.