Everyone mentions it at some point. You fall asleep in an odd position. You play video games for too long, and your wrists start to hurt while your hands to go numb. Maybe your friend tweaked their shoulder weightlifting. “I think I pinched a nerve,” they groan as they massage their neck.
Pinched nerves can happen to anyone. Just ask David Price, pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Before starting a game in the 2018 season against their arch-rivals, the Yankees, Price was pulled thanks to pain attributed to carpal tunnel syndrome, a common type of pinched nerve. While athletes put their bodies through intense stress, carpal tunnel syndrome is more often a video game injury than a sports-related one. So, why did it happen to Price? Because he avidly plays Fortnite in his free-time.
So, what exactly is happening to our bodies when we say a nerve feels “pinched”? More importantly, how do we fix it?
What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve is often the result of compression—something like a bone or muscle pushing against the nerve, creating irritation. There are several different possible causes of nerve compression and, depending on the source; the nerve pain can be sudden or gradual. For example, if you herniate a disc, that injury might immediately press on your nerves and cause pain. On the other end of the spectrum, changes in your skeletal system like bone spurs or arthritis can slowly push against your nerves of a long period of time.
In our bodies, the nerves that run through our arms and legs (called the peripheral nervous system) originate from our spinal cord (the central nervous system). Think of the central nervous system like the trunk of a tree where the peripheral nervous system branches out into your limbs. This branching out happens in two places: the brachial plexus in your upper body and the lumbar plexus in your lower back and hips. This means that, if you get nerve compression in your hips or upper back (two common places for a pinched nerve), the pain can radiate down your entire arm or leg.
Treating a Pinched Nerve
There are two common ways to treat a pinched nerve. One way is through drugs that will numb the pain and give you a laundry list of possible side effects without actually fixing the root cause. If that sounds like a fun option for you, well, we can’t tell you no. For the rest of us, there’s chiropractic treatment.
Spinal adjustments, along with other chiropractic techniques, help resolve the pain caused by a pinched nerve—not through painkillers, but by actually alleviating the compression. This helps your body to heal naturally through scientifically proven methods. Chiropractic treatments focus on fixing the actual problem instead of covering up the symptoms.
If you are suffering from nerve pain, don’t wait to give us a call. Schedule an appointment today to see one of our medical professionals, and we will get you on the road to recovery.