Is It Really a Pinch?
Have you ever had a “pinched nerve” in your neck or back? You might be surprised to find that “pinched nerves” rarely occur and in fact there is a much more common problem that causes the majority of aches, pains, and spasms that we complain about!
How can that be? I have lots and lots of patients who come to see me because they feel like they have pinched nerves. In some rare cases of extreme stress, accidents, and injuries, the nerve can actually get pinched and choked off. In this case it usually causes a loss of sensation. Additionally, the parts of the body that nerve goes to may suffer malfunction to a very noticeable degree.
What Are We Feeling, Then?
Most often we suffer from irritated nerves. Let me explain. The brain controls all of the functions of the body by sending and receiving messages from the brain. The nerves come out of the spinal column and are surrounded on all sides by bones and discs as they branch off the spinal cord. Then the nerves go to every cell in the body and messages go through them from the brain out to the body and then back again. When a nerve is interfered with, usually by the bony or disc tissue it sometimes results in the symptoms we associate with “pinched nerves”. I think the term “pinched nerve” is used so commonly because it is an easier way to try to explain the irritation and nerve interruption.
When one of our nerves gets irritated it usually becomes painful. Some of the most common symptoms of nerve irritation include:
- Sharp, shooting, electric type of pain or sensations
- Certain motions may intensify the pain
- Spasms in the muscles around the area or tightness
However, it is important to know that only 10% of the nerve fibers in any nerve are actually pain sensitive, so a lot of other things may happen before the pain comes. This is often the case when we get pain or symptoms and have no idea of what could have happened to us to cause it.
How to Treat Nerve Irritation
Nerve irritation, left untreated can become progressively worse. As the irritation continues, the body will attempt to change or correct it on its’ own. Here are some things that can happen:
- Progression from pain, to pain that radiates to a limb, to numbness or pins and needles feelings as the damage gets worse
- Chronic tightness in the supporting muscles
- Permanent hypersensitivity or hyperactivity in the areas that are affected
Taking Action for Your Pain
Have you used the expression that someone or something “Gets on my nerves!”? It usually means that whatever is “on our nerves” is aggravating. You don’t want this to be the case in your own body. The most important thing to do, if you think you might have an irritated or pinched nerve, is to stop ignoring it and hoping it will go away, and do something about it. The longer the irritation is in there the harder it is to fix.
A chiropractor is a spinal specialist trained to help remove nerve irritation and allow the body to correct itself. All without using drugs and surgery.
If you’d like to see if we can help you, please call one of our offices today. My associates and I are looking forward to helping you feel better!