Pinched Nerve – Avalon Chiropractic Clinic
What is a pinched nerve? A pinched nerve is a term used to describe a compression on a nerve as it tracks through your body, generally this is somewhere between the spinal nerve roots where they exit the spine and the end of the nerve where it tracks. Any compression on a nerve can cause pain in the distribution to which the nerve sends and receives messages.
When there is pressure on a nerve (pinched nerve) it sends warning signals from the nerves, up the spinal cord and to the brain to let it know there is a problem. Nerves are more vulnerable in spaces where they track through a narrow space without a great degree of soft tissue protecting them. A typical pinched nerve will occur at the area where the nerve exits the spine through a space referred to as an intervertebral foramen.
Typically when the problem is coming from this area it is due to the bone or the disc compressing the nerve root, or an inflammation of the joints in the nearby area. When the inflamed joint, the disc, or bony growth (degenerative changes) press on the nerve the body elicits pain signals. When this is a low grade of compression you may experience an achy dull pain, tingling or numbness. When the pinched nerve is more severe we may experience extreme pain and even weakness in the nerves distribution.
When a nerve is pinched in the neck it will often cause pain signals across the shoulder and into the arms (referred to as cervical radiculopathy), when a nerve is pinched in the low back it causes pain into the legs (lumbar radiculopathy). Pinched nerves can also arise due to muscular pressure or swelling due to a trauma pressing on them as they travel through areas in the body or because of compression at other areas of the body such as the elbow or the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome).
When pain is experienced in the hands accompanied by weakness or numbness it must be differentiated whether the problem comes from the neck or the hand (or another area altogether).
Chiropractors study for 5 years, focusing on muscular and skeletal conditions of the body and the influence they have on the nervous system. This makes Chiropractors well qualified to assess and diagnose conditions such as a “pinched nerve”. In the strong majority of cases the Chiropractor can help with treating this problem too – if your problem is something more severe or sinister of course, they will refer to the appropriate medical professional.
If you are concerned you or somebody you know is suffering from a pinched nerve please call our clinic to see if we can help.
Yours in health,
Avalon Beach Chiropractic & Wellness
02 9918 0070