Pinched Nerve Chiropractic - Austin, TX

man receives a back evaluation from an Austin chiropractor

Pinched Nerves: What They Are, Why They Happen, and What to do About It

About 85 out of every 100,000 Americans are affected by pinched nerves yearly. Although it may seem like a minor issue, for those who are concerned, it can be a significant source of pain. One example of a pinched nerve is sciatica, and if you’ve ever experienced it, then you already know firsthand the impact that nerve pain can make in your life. 

Let’s find out what a pinched nerve is, what causes it, and how to treat and prevent it. 

What is a pinched nerve?

To answer this question, let’s first ask a more fundamental question – what are nerves? Nerves are like little highways running throughout the entire body, transporting information between parts (cells, organs, or muscles) so they can work together as a whole. When one of those nerve “highways” gets blocked, the flow of information can get disrupted, and the body sends signals of this disruption in the form of symptoms like pain. 

What causes a pinched nerve to occur?

Nerves pass through the entire body, from head to toe, between muscles, tendons, and bones. This means that nerves can get compressed anywhere in your body. 

For example, a herniated disc in your neck could lead to pressure on the nerve from the cervical spine to your extremities. The result? Neck pain. 

A common cause of pinched nerves in daily life is tech neck. With the average American spending between 5-6 hours on their phone daily, the alignment issues from poor posture can create symptoms like inflammation of the muscle tissue, muscle spasms, and increased pressure on the spine. All of these factors increase the likelihood of a pinched nerve (as well as other health problems).

Many patients could benefit from simple lifestyle changes like correcting their posture, which might otherwise create severe problems if left untreated.

Chiropractic care addresses the affected nerve, relieves pressure on the spinal cord, and reduces symptoms of a pinched nerve.

Austin Chiropractor Dr. Bailey Black performing a neck evaluation

What causes a pinched nerve to occur?

Nerves pass through the entire body, from head to toe, between muscles, tendons, and bones. This means that nerves can get compressed anywhere in your body. 

For example, a herniated disc in your neck could lead to pressure on the nerve from the cervical spine to your extremities. The result? Neck pain. 

A common cause of pinched nerves in daily life is tech neck. With the average American spending between 5-6 hours on their phone daily, the alignment issues from poor posture can create symptoms like inflammation of the muscle tissue, muscle spasms, and increased pressure on the spine. All of these factors increase the likelihood of a pinched nerve (as well as other health problems).

Many patients could benefit from simple lifestyle changes like correcting their posture, which might otherwise create severe problems if left untreated.

Chiropractic care addresses the affected nerve, relieves pressure on the spinal cord, and reduces symptoms of a pinched nerve.

How do I know if I have a pinched nerve?

Effective treatment of pinched nerves requires an effective treatment plan. By understanding the common symptoms that often manifest, we can devise a plan, and below we’ll address those symptoms.

Pain

The most common symptom of a pinched nerve is pain. This can range from mild to moderate and intense. Sciatica is one form of a pinched nerve, which can be pretty painful. If you’ve ever hit your “funny bone,” the jolting pain is similar to a pinched nerve.  

It’s also possible for the pain to radiate to other parts of the body (a pinched nerve in the lower regions of the spine can be felt as pain further down the leg or foot).

Numbness

If you’ve ever had your foot “fall asleep” or had a “dead arm” from laying with your arm above your head, that’s what numbness from a pinched nerve can be like. In other words, it’s the experience of feeling less sensation.

Muscle Weakness

Frequently a pinched nerve will result in muscular weakness along the nerve pathway due to less nerve conduction. Like when a hose is kinked and stops the flow of water when a nerve gets “kinked,” it can stop the flow of electricity. 

Tingling

Commonly described as a general prickling sensation or “pins-and-needles,” tingling can be another indication that, somewhere along the line, you might have a pinched nerve.

Burning

The final symptom on our list is burning. As the name implies, it’s a sensation of heat. This can also range from mild to intense.

Can a chiropractor help with a pinched nerve?

The short answer is yes! Chiropractors are specialists in the human spine and nervous system. 

When it comes to pinched nerves, one of the best remedies is to maintain regular visits to your chiropractor for optimal health and a pain-free body. This will take the stress out of the process and give you the relief you need.

Why should I seek chiropractic care?

A chiropractic doctor is an expert in the central nervous system and how it relates to the health and well-being of the whole human being.  

The underlying philosophy of chiropractic is that the body functions holistically. All the different systems plug directly into the central nervous system; by changing the central nervous system, you also change everything else. 

The brain and spine are like the CPU in your computer, which processes all of the information and dictates how well the computer is performing. 

Addressing the root cause

Sticking with our computer analogy, a pinched nerve would be like a notification on your screen. Your computer ran a diagnostic and noticed an issue that, if left unresolved, would interfere with the performance of your device. 

You hit ignore. Then you notice that your computer keeps freezing, and it seems pretty glitchy. So you try closing and re-opening your browser. No luck. 

The notification pops back up. This time you take the recommended action. Your virtual technician goes to work resolving the issue, and the other symptoms you notice suddenly disappear when it reboots.

When should I consult a chiropractor?

Pain isn’t fun, but it sure is a great motivator! Unfortunately, more often than not, we tend to wait until the pain of addressing the problem is greater than the pain of not managing it. 

In other words, we tend to take a reactive rather than a proactive approach to our problems. 

If the suspension was off in your car and the steering wheel started to shake, would it make sense to turn up the radio as a reasonable solution? Or wait until it gets so bad that you nearly get in a wreck? 

No, it wouldn’t!

What would make sense would be to consult a trained professional with the necessary skills to address the underlying cause of the problem. We recommend a proactive approach to health so that issues can be addressed early on and thus avoid the costly effects of delaying action until a crisis occurs. 

More than just a crack ​

The misalignment of a spinal segment and other structures can cause interference in the flow of information between your body and brain. 

When this happens, the body’s built-in diagnostic sends you a notification in the form of symptoms (like pain). 

If we ignore the notification (pain) or try a solution that doesn’t address the underlying cause (i.e., pain medication), the symptoms will persist until properly addressed (i.e., by spinal manipulation). 

Through the examination process, your chiropractor can tell exactly where and how the spine needs correcting and make the necessary adjustment. This will then remove any interference in the associated nerve pathways and help resolve any symptoms you may have been experiencing.

Chiropractic treatment in Austin, Texas

If you’re looking for relief from a pinched nerve, chiropractic care can help. Lifespring Chiropractic in Austin, Texas, has your back! Book your first appointment today!