You may think you’ve never experienced a pinched nerve before, but you’re likely wrong: have you ever sat in one spot for too long, and your foot or arm falls asleep? You might call this feeling “pins and needles” or simply your foot “falling asleep” but this is actually a nerve being temporarily pinched. When there is too much pressure on a nerve, like you laying on an arm or leg the wrong way, a pinched nerve occurs. In this case, moving may help it go away. But in other cases, this feeling doesn’t go away- that’s when you may want to visit a chiropractor in Atlanta for help. A pinched nerve may be a sign of a more serious condition, and left untreated this can worsen without you knowing it.
Signs of a Pinched Nerve
“Pins and Needles” Feeling: The most common sign of a pinched nerve will be numbness or tingling in an extremity, limb, or particular body part. You’ll probably recognize this feeling from when your foot “falls asleep,” but in this case, it will likely last a long time or keep recurring over time.
Pain: Some people with a pinched nerve describe a burning pain or discomfort, usually near the site of the nerve that is being pinched. The pain may also radiate to surrounding areas. For example, if you pinch a nerve in your arm, you may feel this pain in your arm and moving down through your hands and fingers.
Muscle Spasms: You may notice part of an arm or leg muscle will twitch or flutter, even when you aren’t moving it. This is a common form of muscle spasms when you are suffering from a pinched nerve. This movement may not be visible to the eye, but you’ll be able to feel it. The same muscles may also feel weak.
Limited Range of Motion: One of the scarier symptoms of a pinched nerve may be trouble moving a part of your body. Think about when your leg last “fell asleep”- if you tried to stand up too fast, your foot likely didn’t move or bend like normal and couldn’t support you.
Causes of Pinched Nerves
Pinched nerves can sometimes happen without much explanation- sleeping in the wrong position or a simple fall may cause it to happen. But there are other scenarios that may be more likely to cause the condition.
Whiplash: Whiplash is a very common injury for those who have been in car accidents, though it can also happen when playing sports or doing other physical activity. When whiplash occurs, your head whips back and forth quickly, causing damage to the spinal cord and muscles surrounding the neck. If swelling occurs as a part of your whiplash, it can put pressure on your nerves, leading to a pinched nerve.
Neck or Back Injury: Neck or back pain from sprains can also occur as a result of car accidents or sports injuries. If the soft tissues and ligaments in your neck are stretched or torn, this can cause things to move out of place, causing swelling. Because your neck and back are full of nerves, even slight swelling can lead to pressure that causes a pinched nerve.
Herniated Disc: A herniated disc, or a slipped disc, can happen when lifting heavy items or during a high impact injury. When the disc between your vertebrae slips out of place, it can place pressure on the surrounding nerves, leading to a pinched nerve.
Treating a Pinched Nerve
Do pinched nerves go away on its own? Sometimes, they do, but when symptoms don’t go away, a chiropractor in Atlanta can help. Without proper treatment, a pinched nerve can develop into more serious conditions such as peripheral neuropathy or disc degeneration. You may also have general illness and chronic pain as a result of an untreated pinched nerve. To prevent this, a chiropractor can perform adjustments to realign your spine and relieve pressure on the nerve. They may also recommend treatments you can use at home to reduce pain and symptoms.
The good news is that treating a pinched nerve can usually be achieved with non-invasive, non-surgical methods of care. At AICA Atlanta, chiropractors will be able to treat your pinched nerve, and if more care is needed, they are able to work with neurologists and orthopedists to create a comprehensive plan for treatment. Chiropractors in Atlanta can also recommend tips and exercises to help you avoid a pinched nerve happening again in the future. If you suspect a pinched nerve, call AICA Atlanta today.