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Can a Chiropractor Help with a Pinched Nerve?

Apr 21, 2022

Can a Chiropractor Help with a Pinched NerveMillions of people visit the doctor each year because of pain. Whether you have back pain, neck pain, or pain in your extremities, it helps to know the cause so you can find the best solution. One such cause of pain could be a pinched nerve. While you may be tempted to rest and hope for the pain to go away, a pinched nerve may not go away on its own. Consider visiting AICA Chiropractor Atlanta if you believe you have a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve chiropractor can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan that will offer lasting pain relief and help you prevent reoccurrences of a pinched nerve in the future.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve refers to a situation where one of the nerves in your body becomes compressed. A pinched or compressed nerve occurs when surrounding tissues like muscles, tendons, or spinal discs put a significant amount of pressure on a nearby nerve. A herniated disc is a common cause of a pinched nerve because the spinal disc slips out of place between two vertebrae and compresses a nearby nerve. Depending on where the pinched nerve occurs, you may feel pain and symptoms in that particular area as well as other places in the body. That’s because nerves send signals throughout the body, so a pinched nerve in your neck could result in symptoms that occur in your shoulder, arm, and hand.

If you’re wondering if pinched nerves go away on their own, the answer is yes, but some don’t and these types of serious injuries require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve include pain, tingling, and numbness. Pain from a pinched nerve may feel like a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing sensation. The pain may be localized to a particular area, or it may radiate outward into your extremities. A pinched nerve can also cause a tingling or “pins and needles” sensation. A common example of a minor pinched nerve is when your foot “falls asleep” from crossing your legs.

Typically, once you shift your positioning and walk on the foot, the pins and needles sensation goes away. However, what you feel when your foot falls asleep is a great example of what a pinched nerve can feel like elsewhere in the body. Symptoms of a pinched nerve can range from mild to intense depending on the cause and type of pinched nerve.

Types of Pinched Nerves

There are several types of pinched nerves based on where they occur in the body. Here are five examples of the most common types of pinched nerves and their associated symptoms.

Cervical Radiculopathy

A pinched nerve in the neck is known as cervical radiculopathy. If you have a pinched nerve in your cervical spine, then you may experience pain and stiffness in your neck. Tingling and numbness may also radiate into your shoulder, arm, and hand. You may visit the doctor for a sharp pain in your shoulder and learn that it is actually caused by a pinched nerve in your neck.

Turning your head from side to side may also make symptoms worse. A pinched nerve in your neck may also cause weakness and numbness around your neck and in your shoulder and arm. You may experience muscle weakness in your affected shoulder and arm that make everyday movements more challenging.

Thoracic Radiculopathy

A pinched nerve in the upper-middle back is known as thoracic radiculopathy. The thoracic spine refers to the middle section of the spine located between the base of your neck and the bottom of your ribs. Twelve vertebrae make up the thoracic spine, and several nerves branch out of this area that send signals for sensation and movement to your chest, arms, hands, organs, and muscles in your abdomen and back.

A pinched nerve in this area can cause pain in your chest, which can sometimes be confused for other health conditions.

Lumbar Radiculopathy

A pinched nerve in your lower back is known as lumbar radiculopathy. The lumbar spine refers to the lower part of your spine beneath your rib cage. Nerves around the lumbar spine support sensations and movements in the lower half of your body, including your lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs.

One of the most common examples of lumbar radiculopathy is known as sciatica. Sciatica refers to pain caused when the sciatic nerve in your lower back becomes aggravated or compressed. This can cause shooting pains, tingling, and other uncomfortable symptoms that travel through the hip and into the leg.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

Have you ever bumped your “funny bone” and experienced that uncomfortable tingling sensation? This is actually an example of a pinched nerve in your elbow known as ulnar neuropathy or ulnar nerve entrapment. The ulnar nerve is located along the outside of the elbow joint, and a sudden bump or blow to the elbow can hit the ulnar nerve or your “funny bone.” With ulnar nerve entrapment, pain, tingling, and discomfort can occur around the elbow, in the forearm, and into your ring and pinky fingers.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of condition where the median nerve that runs through your wrist is compressed. The carpal tunnel refers to a part of the wrist that this nerve travels through. When inflammation or injury causes the carpal tunnel to narrow or collapse, this can cause a pinched median nerve. Too much pressure on the median nerve can cause uncomfortable pain and other symptoms in your hand and wrist. You may find it difficult to perform certain hand and wrist motions like writing, typing, or grasping objects.

Chiropractic Treatment for a Pinched Nerve

If you think you have a pinched nerve, then you might be wondering, “Can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve?” The short answer is yes! You can go to a chiropractor for a pinched nerve and receive quality, natural treatment for this uncomfortable condition. Your chiropractor will perform a physical examination, talk to you about your symptoms and medical history, and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Here are a few examples of how a chiropractor can treat a pinched nerve.

Spine & Joint Adjustments

Chiropractors utilize a treatment technique to help realign bones and joints in the body. While many people associate chiropractors with “cracking your back”, they actually perform safe and effective adjustments to the joints in your spine and elsewhere in the body. These adjustments help restore healthy functioning to an area by naturally realigning a joint. This can help take pressure off a nearby nerve.

Depending on where your pinched nerve is located, your Atlanta chiropractor can use this hands-on, drug-free approach to remove additional pressure from the compressed nerve. Resolving a pinched nerve as soon as possible helps you avoid chronic pain or permanent nerve damage.

Manual Therapies

Your chiropractor may also recommend a combination of manual therapies to help offer natural solutions for symptom relief. Therapeutic massage can help soothe stiff, sore muscles that may be aggravating nearby nerves. A hands-on treatment option can also help address swelling and inflammation that could be causing your pinched nerve.

Manual therapies with your pinched nerve chiropractor can address other uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing, like tingling, weakness, and numbness. Your chiropractor will use these all-natural treatment techniques to address the root cause of your pinched nerve so you can experience lasting relief.

Posture Adjustment

Your chiropractor may work with you to adjust your posture, which can help take the pressure off a pinched nerve. Many people don’t realize just how much poor posture can contribute to the development of conditions like a pinched nerve. When you hunch forward over your desk for hours at a day, the muscles that support your neck and back can become weakened and strained. This can make it more difficult for you to maintain a healthy posture for long periods of time. However, poor posture can also contribute to your pain and the development of a pinched nerve. Your chiropractor may also recommend postures for sleeping to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Stretches & Exercises

Work with your chiropractor through stretches and exercises that can help reduce the compression of a nerve. Gentle stretches and light exercises can help relieve the pressure on a pinched nerve and help improve your symptoms. Specific stretches will depend on where your pinched nerve occurs. However, stretching and exercising can also help you improve your muscle strength and better support your spine and joints. Your chiropractor may recommend specific stretches and exercises to improve your mobility and range of motion as your symptoms ease.

Visit AICA Orthopedics and meet with an Atlanta chiropractor for a pinched nerve. Our team of chiropractors also works alongside a team of professionals who can provide you with comprehensive care, including orthopedic doctors, neurologists, and physical therapists. At AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta, our team of multi-specialty doctors aims to provide you with conservative treatment options to help you experience lasting pain relief and avoid more invasive procedures. Find out how you can experience lasting symptom relief and prevent future flare-ups of a pinched nerve when you meet with one of our highly knowledgeable and skilled pinched nerve chiropractors.

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