Pinched Nerves can be extremely painful, and interfere with most aspects of your daily life, from simple things like lying in bed, bending over to dress yourself, sitting at your computer or couch, to more stressful physical activities like exercising. This article will help you understand what may have caused the pain, how to diagnose the problem, as well as your treatment options and how to get pinched nerve pain relief.
There are the obvious traumatic causes of pinched nerves like motor vehicle accidents and falls which cause a violent movement that often bends your spine into an abnormal position. This spinal trauma can create bony structural abnormalities leading to bony pressure on the nerves, and intervertebral disc compression, which can lead to a bulging disc (slipped disc) which gives you neurological symptoms like pain, burning, tingling, numbness or weakness down the arms/hands or the legs/feet, depending on which portion of your spine was harmed in the accident. Nerve pressure in the neck produces symptoms down the arms and lower back nerve pressure causes symptoms down the legs. This type of traumatic injury might only cause pain in your neck or lower back, so if there are no symptoms down your arms or legs, it is very unlikley that a pinched nerve has occurred.
By far the most common cause of pinched nerve visits to a Chiropractor is from the stress and strain of daily life. The factors leading to this type of pain mainly include the following:
There is a common misconception that every ache or pain in the body is muscular in origin. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The soft tissues could definitley be involved in your problem (muscles, tendons or ligaments), but there are other tissues in the neck and lower back which could easily be the source of your pain, like the lumbar spinal joints, sacroiliac (pelvic) joints, intevertebral discs and spinal/pelvic nerves.
As a general rule of thumb, soft tissue problems in the neck or lower back cause short term pain, hours to days. When a problem has been going on for weeks, months or years it’s generaly spinal or pelvic in origin. Quite simply, muscles don’t usually cause pain for prolonged periods of time, but spinal and pelvic problems nearly always do. Muscular neck and lower back problems don’t directly cause internal lumbar spinal or pelvic problems, but if you have a spinal or pelvic problem you will almost certainly have an associated muscle spasm, your body’s natural muscular response to the lower back condition.
When neck or lower back pain has been around for weeks or longer, especially when accompanied by symptoms down your arms/hands or legs/feet, be sure to to shift your focus away from the muscles and get your spine and/or pelvis assessed by a Chiropractor or Neurosurgeon, the spinal focused practitioners.
There are 4 pillars to making the correct pinched nerve diagnosis:
There are lots of different soft tissue (muscle) practitioners in health care, but not many spinal (pinched nerve) focused practitioners. If you have neck pain or lower back pain, as well as neurological symptoms running down your arms/hands or legs/feet, make sure you get help from a Chiropractor and/or Neurosurgeon.
The treatment you receive for your pinched nerve pain should be 100% dependant on the diagnosis that was made. There could be bony or disc pressure on your nerves, or a combination of both, and the treatment will then differ accordingly. There are various treatments worldwide for pain associated with a pinched nerve, but the procedures mentioned below are the most used, have the highest success rate, and are backed by the most science.