‘Chiropractic is a non-invasive therapy’
There appears to be an increase in adults (males and females alike) complaining of pinched nerves. Even as physicians and physical therapists note this trend, we are also concerned that there may be an under diagnosis of this condition as the symptoms are often attributed to other causes.
Compressed nerve is another terminology used for pinched nerve. It is the sensation, numbness, or pain caused by the irritation and pressure put on the root of a nerve or bundle of nerves. This pressure is exerted by surrounding bone, cartilage, muscles and tendons. A pinched nerve most frequently occurs in the lower spine, wrist, and neck.
Associated with compressed nerve are other pathologies such as osteoarthritis, herniated disc and repetitive stress syndrome. A herniated disc can result from the natural aging process and arthritic changes in the spine. Herniated disc can also occur after a trauma such as injuries resulting from falls from heights or a sport injury. Arthritis (osteoarthritis) is usually age-related changes which occur mainly in the joints and the resulting bone spurs can entrap a nerve. There are also occupational injuries which result from repetitive stress placed on extremities. Construction workers who use the ‘jack hammer” and drills are at risk for such an injury. The compression results in swelling of the nerve and this interfere with the normal functioning of the nerve.
Common symptoms include:
- Sensations of pins and needle in the affected area of the back, limb or neck
- Numbness or cramps
- Mild to severe pain
- Muscles weakness
Some patients will experience relief of the pain and numbness by resting and taking over the counter pain relievers.
The chiropractor relieves the pain in the legs by relieving the pressure that compresses the nerve root. A non-invasive therapy used by the chiropractor is the osteopathic realignment of the spine. This may also include manipulation of the pelvis. Overweight individuals should try to lose the extra pounds as this brings relief from the leg pain and discomfort.
It is time to see a chiropractor for adjustments when ice and rest have not resolved the pain and discomfort. Also, if there is relief and then the pain re-occur once regular activity or training are resumed, then without delay you need to see a chiropractor who has sports medicine training. In order to rule out the possibility of other similar orthopedic problems, x-rays, scans and imaging (MRI) are good diagnostic tools.
Other useful therapies are:
- Postural retraining
- Acupuncture and acupressure
- Manipulative therapy which includes stretching and massage.
- Resistance training to build muscle strength
- Aromatherapy, herbal therapy
- Weight management program
Severe nerve compression may require a surgical solution to release the entrapped nerve. The chiropractor refers these patients to the orthopedic surgeon for further assessment and intervention.
Among the diagnostic arsenal to confirm a pinched nerve are nerve conduction study, electromyography, and magnetic resonance imaging MRI.
If you suffer from pinched nerves, there are many more options available today to resolve or manage the pain symptoms. Do explore non-invasive physical therapy such as chiropractic.
Hello_docja, Readers Bureau, Contributor
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