Patients often ask what is a pinched nerve and can Chiropractic help
Usually we are talking about one of the 33 pairs of spinal nerves that branch out from in between the vertebra of the spine. There can also be pinched nerves in the wrist (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) or in the ankle (Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome) for example.
Let's talk about spinal pinched nerves.
--> Starting at the base of the skull, there are occipital nerves which branch out from the spine up to the back of the head. Pinched nerves in this area is called occipital neuralgia and lead to sharp pains, tingling and headaches.
--> A little further down into the lower neck (cervical spine) and upper back area are the spinal nerves which make up the brachial plexus (group of nerves) which travel into the shoulder, scapular region (shoulder blade) and all the way down the arm into the fingers. Pinched nerves in this area are called brachial neuritis / radiculitis and cause pain traveling from the neck into the arm and hand with numbness and tingling.
--> Pinched nerves in the mid to upper back (thoracic spine) are called thoracic neuritis or radiculitis. The pain and numbness or tingling patterns follow a pattern from the spine to the front of the rib cage. This is a common area for "Shingles" / Herpes Zoster and often the little red bumps are in line from the spine around the rib cage mapping out the infected nerve.
--> Making our way down the lower back (lumbar spine) are the nerves that go from the spine to the front of the thigh (femoral) and down the butt and back of the leg to the foot (sciatic), when pinched cause femoral or sciatic neuritis / radiculitis or sciatica.
So what causes the nerve to get pinched and these symptoms ? A number of different conditions such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, vertebral subluxation and bone spurs from osteoarthritis are usually the culprit. Chiropractors specialize in treatment of vertebral subluxation (spinal bone misalignment) and are very effective at relieving pinched nerves caused by this condition. Chiropractors also treat patients with herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and arthritis causing pinched nerves, and may coordinate treatment with a spinal surgeon if needed.
If your are suffering from a pinched spinal nerve - give our office a call for an appointment.
Dr David Dirks, DC
Washington: (252) 362-0189
Greenville: (252) 751-0660