Can a Chiropractor Help With a Pinched Nerve?

Jan 29, 2022

Can a Chiropractor Help With a Pinched Nerve A pinched nerve can cause a range of symptoms and pain that may be mild or severe- if you have ever experienced one, you probably have been anxious for relief. Some people do not think that a chiropractor will be effective in this case, as they deal with spines and not nerves. You may be surprised to learn that chiropractors are very equipped to handle pinched nerves and similar car accident injuries. Read on to learn more about pinched nerves and why chiropractors may be the best professionals to treat them.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

Nerves are the body’s way of sending signals throughout the body. As the motor command leaves the brain, it travels down the spinal cord and through the nerve until they reach their destination. The sensory commands then travel from outside the body, up through the spinal cord, and back to the brain for processing. If these nerves are not functioning properly, the communication is interrupted.

One common way for nerves to be interrupted is for them to be pinched by another body part. Signs of a pinched nerve may include:

  • Decreased sensation in an area of the body
  • Feelings of numbness, pins, needles, and tingling
  • Sharp and burning pain
  • Shooting, shock-like sensations
  • The feeling that a limb has “fallen asleep”
  • Asymmetric muscle weakness in one side of the body

Causes of Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves occur when the nerve itself is compressed by surrounding tissue, including cartilage, bone, or swollen soft tissue. This can occur for a variety of reasons, some of the most common including:

  • Issues relating to weight and obesity
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Traumatic injuries from sports or car accidents
  • Stress due to poor work ergonomics
  • Overuse injuries from athletics or other hobbies
  • Ruptured and herniated discs

Releasing Pinched Nerves

Most pinched nerves can be traced back to an issue related to poor spinal alignment and the tissues of the body. This can include bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscle tissue which are not meant to compress the nerves and need to be realigned if they do so.

A chiropractor will focus on realigning the body’s tissues to release the nerve, freeing it from where it may be trapped or compressed. By using controlled force, a chiropractor can push joints and structures back into place. This addresses the root cause of the pain, meaning that relief can be permanent rather than temporary. In most cases, these manual adjustments are enough to treat the pinched nerve without requiring invasive procedures like surgery.

In the rare cases when chiropractic care cannot address a pinched nerve, surgery may be an option. Spinal decompression surgery is used to remove portions of bone or other tissue that are impeding the nerve in order to free them again. While this is a minimally invasive surgery, it is still riskier than the natural option of chiropractic care and is usually not the first choice of patients or doctors.

Preventing a Pinched Nerve

  • If you are at risk for a pinched nerve or want to avoid one, there are some measures you can take, including:
  • Maintain good positioning- don’t cross your legs or lie in any position for a long period of time.
  • Incorporate strength and flexibility exercises into your regular exercise program.
  • Limit repetitive activities, and when engaging in them, take frequent breaks.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise routine.

What to Do If You Have a Pinched Nerve

Many pinched nerves are a result of a simple problem and resolve within a few days with rest and proper care. Over-the-counter pain medication and ice therapy may be good ways to deal with symptoms at home.

However, if a pinched nerve lasts longer than a few days or does not respond to self-care measures, you should seek treatment from a chiropractor. They will be able to identify the root cause of your pain and where your nerves have become compromised in order to create a plan for treating this issue. Even when your pinched nerve feels better on its own, the underlying issue may not have been addressed, which can cause the issue to recur over time.

Find an Atlanta Orthopedic treatment for pinched nerves. Contact AICA Orthopedics today for a comprehensive evaluation. Our chiropractors will help determine the cause of your pain and create a plan to relieve you. When needed, we can include other specialists like physical therapists, radiologists, and even orthopedic surgeons in your care plan to provide comprehensive treatment.


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