Signs and Symptoms
A common sign or symptom of a pinched nerve is numbness or tingling, usually in a discrete pattern. This is usually caused by a nerve being compressed somewhere along it’s path, either at the level of the spine, or down into arms and hands or legs and feet. If it is left untreated, permanent issues can occur and surgery may be the only option.
To relieve the numbness and tingling, we first need to discover where the nerve is being pinched. A thorough examination of both the spine and extremities using orthopedic and neurological testing can help us determine this. If the problem isn’t revealed during testing, we may utilize imaging, such as x-rays, MRI’s and nerve conduction studies to help pinpoint the location of the pinch.
How does it happen?
In many cases, the tingling or the numbness is caused because something is compressing the nerve. This can occur in a myriad of ways. A common example would be sciatica where the nerve root is being pinched by a bulging or herniated disc. Another example would be the muscles of the neck compressing the nerves as they exit the spine causing numbness, tingling and pain into the affected arm. You could also have a neurodynamic problem. Normal nerves slide and move when we move, and if the nerve is ‘pinched’ or cannot slide, you may get pain with a very specific movement. In this case, we would use specific exam procedures to discover where the nerve is being caught. Treatment includes a combination of gentle chiropractic adjustments, myofascial release of key muscles and specific exercises to help relieve symptoms. In some cases, there are other contributing conditions, including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease or a lack of room for the nerves (stenosis). In these cases, traction-based therapies, including decompression, can be very beneficial.
If you are having numbness and tingling, schedule an appointment today so that we can start you on the road to recovery.