Chiropractic care is carried out in dozens of countries across the world today and can bring many benefits to both patients, and the healthcare industry as a whole. There are around 35 million chiropractic visits in the US each year, but if more patients were treated this way, Medicare would save around $83.5 million a year.
Interestingly, chiropractic care could save patients money too. Visiting a chiropractor regularly could save the average patient 85% on their pharmaceutical costs such as pain relievers.
Pinched nerves are one of the more painful problems associated with backs and necks, although they can occur in wrists, elbows, and hands too. About 85 out of 100,000 people will experience a pinched nerve at some point, and the over 50s are more susceptible.
Chiropractors typically deal with joints and backs, so could they help with a pinched nerve too?
What areas can chiropractors help with?
Any Doctor of Chiropractic aims to reduce and help to manage pain and improve function. This is done through manipulation and adjustments of various muscles and joints including the spine.
Chiropractors can treat lower back pain, sacroiliac pain, migraines, and shoulder pain. There are many different conditions that chiropractors can treat and improve. They use corrective and preventative treatments to fix problems and maintain function and avoid recurring issues. And, chiropractors use a variety of restorative modalities to improve the quality of life for all patients.
Pinched nerves are another area that chiropractors can help with.
What is a pinched nerve?
When excessive pressure is put on a nerve, pain can occur along with other symptoms such as tingling or numbness. One example is carpal tunnel syndrome where a nerve in the wrist becomes pinched and causes both numbness and pain in the hand. This can be caused by muscles or bones exerting undue pressure on a nerve.
Pinched nerve symptoms can be as follows:
- Radiating pain
- Temporary paresthesia
There are different types of back pain, and pinched nerves can cause radiating pain which travels to other parts of the body. For instance, a pinched nerve in the lumbar spine can cause pain to radiate through the buttock and down the leg.
Temporary paresthesia is the feeling of a body part going to sleep, most commonly a hand or foot. Feelings of pins and needles will usually accompany this, and it can be a sign of a pinched nerve elsewhere in the body.
How can chiropractors help with pinched nerves?
Chiropractors understand how the nervous system works, and they can make adjustments to treat pinched nerves. However, they can perform more than just adjustments, and they can introduce preventative care to ensure that the same injury doesn’t occur again.
A Doctor of Chiropractic will have studied the spine at length and will understand the way it controls the nervous system. Therefore, they can deal with pinched nerves caused by injuries including whiplash. One of the benefits of seeing a chiropractor after a car accident is that they can identify the root cause of pain. Whiplash is the most seen injury arising from car accidents, and left untreated can lead to long-term problems.
How do most pinched nerves occur?
Weightlifting is one of the most common causes of injuries involving pinched nerves. Lifting heavy weights is a very easy way to trap a nerve, and this can be very painful. One of the most common workplace injuries is done by lifting objects. Workplace injuries cost US businesses more than $1 billion each week.
Car accidents, sports injuries, repetitive movements, arthritis, bone spurs, herniated disks, and obesity, are all causes of pinched nerves.
Can a pinched nerve be serious?
One important reason to see a chiropractor if you suspect you have a pinched nerve is to rule out a more serious injury. You may have a pinched nerve but it may be caused by something more worrying.
Normally, a pinched nerve will respond to treatment within days or a few weeks. But, sometimes, pinched nerves become more problematic. NINDS is conducting research into pinched nerves to understand more about reversing the damage that can occur.
However, sometimes the damage is irreversible. Leaving a pinched nerve untreated, or continuing to move about without care can cause further damage. This can lead to chronic pain, and in some cases irreparable damage.
If you are experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve, you should see your chiropractor as soon as possible to discuss treatment.
Many people will experience a pinched nerve at some point in their life. As wear and tear set in, in older years, the likelihood of having a pinched nerve increases. Fortunately, in most cases, they are easy to treat, and a chiropractor can realign everything to relieve the nerve.
Symptoms of pinched nerves shouldn’t be ignored as left untreated they can easily worsen leading to chronic pain, and at worse, irreversible nerve damage.