The word “pinch” doesn’t usually bring a smile to our faces. In fact, it probably makes us think “ouch!” A pinched nerve is caused by too much pressure from surrounding tissues. The compression irritates the nerve and interrupts its ability to function properly. Pinched nerves most commonly occur in the neck or back (sciatica) and can also be an issue in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. Nerves are most vulnerable at points in the body where they pass through narrow spaces and have little soft tissue protection.
Symptoms of a ‘pinched nerve’ may include:
- ‘Pins and Needles’ Sensation
A pinched nerve can decrease range of motion and cause muscle spasms. Notably, at some point most people can relate to what a pinched nerve in the neck feels like where it makes movement almost impossible and very painful. Also referred to as a ‘stiff neck,’ walking, sitting, and literally just breathing can be excruciating!
If left untreated, pinched nerves can leave you with chronic pain and even permanent nerve damage. Chiropractic care can be very helpful in treating pinched nerves. An adjustment can relieve the pressure on a pinched nerve by removing any subluxations. In fact, regular chiropractic care can keep your spine healthy and help you to avoid getting a pinched nerve in the first place.
Pay attention to body positions to avoid pinched nerves. Maintain good posture when standing & sitting; when resting and sleeping, support the neck and hips properly; avoid leaning on the elbows; reduce the frequency of crossing your legs at the knee; and decrease repetitive activities. Use ergonomic principles at work and at home to decrease the risk of nerve injuries. If repetitive activities are necessary, incorporate frequent breaks to reduce the risk.