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Chiropractor serving Frederick, Walkersville, and the surrounding area.

Pinched Nerves and Chiropractic Care

Think you may have a pinched nerve? Do you have pain running from one part of your body to another? Are you feeling like your energy is low?

These are just a few symptoms that occur when you have a pinched nerve. Many times in our lives we may have pinched nerves and not even know it. Do you wonder how you get this? It’s from daily life - the bumps, the bruises, the overuse of putting a child on your hip for a few years, or a purse. It could be from the sports injuries you may have had as a child. It also would be from overuse injuries such as sitting at a desk or commuting to a job for years.

Lady with a pinched nerve in her neck.Pinched nerves can affect our health, our posture, our vitality, our resistance to disease, and even our emotional health. Individual nerve fibers are microscopic, and they are also found in large bundles. Some of the nerves can be as wide as the size of your thumb. Sometimes when someone does have an impinged nerve, they do not have any symptoms. Other times, they may do something simple, such as bending down to pick something up. When they do, they can’t go down due to the pain.

Our nerve messages help our body regulate activities such as breathing, digesting, elimination, and even beating your heart. If your messages are blocked muscles, and/or organs can waste away.

Pinched nerves do not go away on their own. Painkillers and muscle relaxers will not fix the problem. Only chiropractors are able to analyze the body for “pinched” nerves and align the spine.

In our 27 years of practicing chiropractic care, we often see patients that come to our office saying they have been diagnosed with a pinched nerve or describing symptoms of pinched nerves in their neck or low back. A pinched nerve can manifest itself through many symptoms. In each case, the nerve is being irritated, feeling pressure from inflammation, or being pinched.

Symptoms of pinched nerves in the neck include:

Neck pain, headaches, spinal pain, mid or low back pain, shoulder pain, pain radiating down the arm or leg, numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the arms, legs, or even toes.

They also may be experiencing limited motion, trouble sitting for a length of time, difficulty in standing from a seated position, problems ending forward/backward, and even sleeping in certain positions. An irritated nerve can even cause muscle spasms. This can also lead to other health problems.

The causes of pinched nerves in the neck include:

  1. Osteoarthritis in the neck. The joints in the back cause degeneration of bone spurs which crown into the hole. 
  2. Subluxation or misalignment of the neck. A subluxation puts pressure on a spinal nerve that comes out from the spine, controlling and coordinating different parts of the body. A subluxation can cause pain or different types of muscle spasms.
  3. Disc degeneration in the neck. The disc is the cushion between the bones and functions like a shock. When the disc degenerates it makes the hole that the nerve comes out smaller. This allows less room for the nerve to exit and can put pressure on the nerve.
  4. Disc protrusions or herniation. This is when the disc pushes up or comes close to the nerve, irritates the nerve which comes out, and shuts down into the arms, legs, and other body parts. Normal movements can cause the herniated disc to rub against the nerve causing pain and irritation. The worse the protrusion, the greater the pressure is that is placed on the nerve, causing a pinched nerve.

Care of a Pinched Nerve

When someone comes in with symptoms of a pinched nerve, They may also be experiencing a limited range of motion, trouble sitting for long periods of time, difficulty in standing from a seated position, problems bending forward or backward, and even sleeping in certain positions. An irritated or pinched nerve can even cause muscle spasms in addition to pain. Additionally, because the nerves control and coordinate the functions of the muscles and internal organs, pinched nerves can lead to other health problems.

Treatment of Pinched Nerves in Neck

Man with a pinched nerve in his lower back.When a patient comes in with symptoms of a pinched nerve in their neck, and they’re having any of the above symptoms, the first thing we do is a comprehensive consultation including a health history. And then we do a full examination with orthopedic, chiropractic, and physical exam tests to check and see if our patient has interference to the nerves. To understand what the underlying cause of the problem is we will do sensory testing and various orthopedic and neurological tests.

In addition to the above diagnostic tests, we have computerized technology that looks at the nerves as they come out from the spine to go to the muscles and the internal organs. We have the surface electromyography that measures the electrical energy that comes from the nerves as they exit out of the spine and go to the muscles, and we have the infrared scan that looks at the nerves that come out and go to the organs. The infrared scan looks at the autonomic nervous system, the sympathetic system, and the parasympathetic system that controls your organs. From there, many times, we will take x-rays of the spine to determine exactly what the spinal alignment looks like, see if there is any disc degeneration, as well as look to see if there is any osteoarthritis that can be affecting or putting pressure on the nerves.

Once this is complete, we will design the best treatment plan specifically for that patient to not only correct or alleviate the pain, but to correct the underlying cause of the problem, and strengthen and stabilize the affected area.

What Happens When a Pinched Nerve in Your Neck Goes Untreated?

If a pinched nerve goes uncorrected, or untreated, the cause of the problem — whether it be a misalignment, disc degeneration, osteoarthritis, disc herniation, or a combination of all four — will continue to get worse. Whenever a bone in the spine is misaligned and not moving properly the body will go through a degenerative change. It is important to understand that if someone has a degenerative process going on and you treat it properly and maintain it, you can stop it from getting worse. If you do not correct the underlying cause of the problem, the problem will get progressively worse and then some people will end up in a situation where they will need surgery. Our goal at McLaughlin Family Chiropractic is to find and correct this problem, and to prevent someone from having to go through surgery.

Why Choose Chiropractic Care for Pinched Nerve in Neck

Did you know that pinched nerves in your neck can manifest themselves throughout your entire body? A chiropractor can help you discover whether your pain is from a pinched nerve. Left untreated pinched nerves will only get worse, and in a worst-case scenario require surgery.

Chiropractic care’s treatment of pinched nerves in your neck or low back is designed to find and correct the underlying problem, and not to just treat the symptoms. In our office, from a treatment standpoint, once we have figured out exactly what the underlying cause of the problem is, we put our patients into a treatment plan to correct the problem. Typically, to correct this we are doing chiropractic adjustments, where we are moving the spine from the misaligned, or bad position, into the better, proper position that increases the range of motion of the joints. We work to alleviate or take the pressure off the nerve itself. In conjunction, we design a program of specific rehabilitative exercises to strengthen and stabilize the affected area. Some of the other things we may recommend if needed are cold laser, trigger point therapy, as well as stretching and increasing the range of motion of the joints. All of these treatments are designed to not only get someone out of pain, but to correct the underlying cause of the problem and prevent this from progressing.

Unfortunately, when a lot of people in our society have the symptoms of a pinched nerve in their neck or low back the first thing that they turn to is some kind of over-the-counter medication or prescribed medication which helps to decrease or alleviate the pain or the inflammation. However, this does not correct the underlying cause of the problem. Obviously, it makes someone feel better, but since it does not correct the underlying cause of the problem, if it is not corrected will get worse and may get to the point where sometimes it is uncorrectable.

Call us at (301) 898-8005 to arrange an appointment with McLaughlin Family Chiropractic. Our doctors will consult with you to find the underlying cause of your pinched nerve and put together an individualized plan to correct it. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please share this article with them.

© 2018 McLaughlin Family Chiropractic

These articles are the property of McLaughlin Family Chiropractic. They may not be reused without permission. You are welcome to link to this article. McLaughlin Family Chiropractic has been proudly serving the greater Frederick, Maryland area for more than 20 years.

The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Mimi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Mimi and her staff. Dr. Mimi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.

Contact us at 301.898.8005 to set an appointment.

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