Pinched nerves are a common cause of both acute and chronic pain. Although a nerve can become “pinched” or compressed anywhere in the body, problems often occur where the nerves connected to the spine are involved. The team at St. Joseph Chiropractic understands that to achieve long-term relief of symptoms - and to prevent them from coming back - it’s essential to customize treatment based on the needs, symptoms, lifestyle, and anatomy of each individual patient.
What is a pinched nerve?
The term “pinched nerve” refers to a nerve that’s compressed or irritated, usually by another structure that’s pressing against it. Sometimes, a nerve can become compressed when the tissue around it are swollen and inflamed due to an injury or disease. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of nerve compression that occurs when repetitive movements or strain cause the tissues in the wrist joint to swell and crowd and compress the medial nerve that runs through the wrist. Other times, bones and other structures move out of place and press on the nerves, resulting in irritation and inflammation. For instance, “slipped” or herniated discs are a common cause of pinched nerve symptoms, occurring when a spongy disc protrudes from its normal position between the spinal vertebrae and invades the space around the nerves, pressing on nerves and irritating them. Herniated discs can also leak fluid, which increases nerve irritation.
What symptoms do pinched nerves cause?
Pinched nerves can cause an array of symptoms, including sharp electricity-like pain, dull aching, numbness, tingling and pins-and-needles sensations. Without prompt attention, the impaired nerve pathways can result in muscle weakness and loss of coordination. Symptoms can occur locally, near the site of the nerve impingement, and they can also occur anywhere along the nerve pathway. Sciatica is a good example of a nerve impingement that can cause aching in the back as well as pain, numbness and other symptoms radiating into the buttocks and legs. Cervical radiculopathy is a similar condition that occurs in the neck, resulting in symptoms that radiate into the shoulders, arms and upper back. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and without prompt and proper medical care, they almost certainly will become worse over time.
How does a chiropractor relieve the symptoms of a pinched nerve?
At St. Joseph Chiropractic, our chiropractor, Dr. Craig Mattox, D.C., begins with a comprehensive physical exam and an evaluation of the patient’s symptoms, often using passive and active movements to pinpoint the source. Once the source has been determined, treatment may begin with a spinal adjustment to help realign discs and vertebrae that have moved out of their normal positions. Hands-on manipulations and adjustments using a special device called an Arthrostim® can help readjust the spine while also reducing irritation and promoting circulation for optimal healing. Disc decompression with gentle traction may also be used, as well as lifestyle guidance to help patients relieve inflammation and prevent symptoms from recurring.
Schedule your evaluation with our St. Joseph Chiropractor today
St. Joseph Chiropractic is a top provider of pinched nerve treatment in and around St. Joseph, MO. Because nerves can affect every part of the body, any type of nerve-related symptoms should be evaluated as early as possible to prevent the condition from becoming worse. Finding relief from your symptoms starts with a consultation and evaluation to design a custom treatment program that’s just right for you. To get started, call St. Joseph Chiropractic at (816) 279-0700 and schedule your FREE exam and consultation today!