A pinched nerve can be a very uncomfortable experience that can start to interfere with your daily routines. There are some situations where a pinched nerve goes away on its own, but other times you may need to see a doctor for help. A common experience of a pinched nerve is when you’ve been sitting in one place for too long and realize your foot has “fallen asleep”.
Your foot falling asleep every now and then because of a prolonged sitting position is usually nothing serious because as soon as you change positions it goes away on its own. But in some cases where the pins and needles feeling doesn’t go away, you may need to see a chiropractor in Atlanta for help.
Causes of a Pinched Nerve
That pins and needles feeling happens when a nerve in your leg has been compressed or pinched, affecting its ability to send proper signals to your leg and foot. This can happen in any part of your body, even in your neck and back. Whenever pressure is put on a nerve it is referred to as a pinched nerve.
Pressure on a nerve can happen from staying in one position for too long, from repetitive motions, and also from an injury. If you have any swelling or inflammation due to a sports injury, for example, a swollen muscle could put pressure on a nearby nerve. A car accident injury like whiplash can cause a pinched nerve if one of the discs separating your vertebrae slips out of place and compresses a nearby nerve.
A spinal misalignment in your back can also cause a pinched nerve because the spine actually houses the nervous system. When a vertebra is out of place, also referred to as misaligned, then it can disrupt nearby nerves and put unnecessary pressure on a particular nerve. Poor posture can contribute to the possibility of spinal misalignments.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis then you may also be familiar with pinched nerves. When the soft tissues that surround your joints swell, they can put pressure on nearby nerves. Pinched nerves near your joints can make using those joints very painful and cause the muscles nearby to stiffen, which only increases pain and discomfort.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
Common symptoms of a pinched nerve, also referred to as a compressed nerve, include pain in the specific area where the compression occurs and pain that radiates outward. For example, if you have a compressed nerve in your neck, that pain could radiate through your shoulder and into your arm. Other common symptoms include tingling sensations like pins and needles, a burning sensation, or that feeling of a limb “falling asleep”. Numbness and weakness in the area are also common when a nerve is compressed. Sometimes symptoms of a pinched nerve can get worse when you move a certain way.
Treating a Pinched Nerve
Treatment for a pinched nerve will depend on its location, the cause, and the severity of the compression. Some pinched nerves can go away on their own when you move around after staying still for a while, or conversely, if you rest after repetitive motions like writing or typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of where a pinched nerve in your wrist can cause pain and discomfort with repetitive movements like writing or typing. In some cases, resting in between activities can help the compressed nerve to resolve on its own, but if not then a chiropractor in Atlanta will be able to help.
If your symptoms continue or increase in severity then a chiropractor can identify the location of the pinched nerve and what is causing the nerve to be compressed. By finding what is causing the nerve compression and addressing the issue, your symptoms should be relieved almost instantly. If you have a pinched nerve from whiplash after a car accident, your chiropractor in Atlanta can use gentle adjustment techniques to realign the vertebrae and discs in your neck to resolve the compression. If the compression is due to inflammation then chiropractic techniques like adjustment, massage, and stretches can help restore oxygen-rich blood flow to swollen muscles, helping them to heal and reduce the swelling so the nerve is released.
At AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta, our team of chiropractors is here to help you experience true, lasting pain relief from pinched nerves by addressing the root cause. Visit one of our locations for a chiropractic adjustment and experience it for yourself!