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Pinched Nerves and Chiropractic

Pinched Nerve

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Like an open window, nerve openings along your spine must be clear and unobstructed.

It’s called a pinched nerve because that’s what it feels like. But there’s a lot more going on!

The 24 moving bones of your spine protect your spinal cord while permitting normal turning and bending. Pairs of nerve roots, one on each side, branch off your spinal cord at each segmental level to service the organs and tissues of your body. When these openings are unobstructed, your brain can properly control and regulate your body.

When a spinal bone is malpositioned, it can encroach upon these important nerve openings. Nerve irritation can result. Chiropractors call that a subluxation.

Two Types of Reactions

When spinal bones lose their normal motion or position, it can cause one of two types of nerve disturbances:

  • Compressed lesion – This is just a fancy name for a pinched nerve. What surprises many is that it’s actually quite rare. More common is a…
  • Facilitative lesion – This is when the nerve root is stretched, irritated or chafed. Think: hard tissue rubbing on soft tissue.

But remember, bones are static structures. They don’t move unless muscles move them. And muscles don’t move bones unless commanded by the nervous system. An irritated nerve creates a vicious loop. Chiropractors locate these areas of your spine and reduce their impact on your nervous system.

A Precise Nudge

A thorough examination helps identify areas of your spine where spinal bones are stuck and not moving correctly. Then, your chiropractor will give them a precise little nudge called a chiropractic adjustment. Your body uses this energy to “right itself” and nerve irritation can be reduced.

Because chiropractic addresses the integrity of your nervous system, it’s a natural solution to many health problems, not just back and neck disorders!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does it take for nerve irritation to be reduced?

Some patients experience almost instant relief. Others discover it can take many weeks or months. Many factors can affect the healing process. How long have you had your problem? Are you keeping your appointments? Are you getting the proper rest, exercise and nutrition? Do you smoke? Are you in otherwise good condition? Within a short period, most patients sense enough progress to justify completing their chiropractor’s recommendations.
What about my friend who only needed one visit?

It’s true there are rare instances in which a single visit can produce the pain relief that many patients seek. However, the effect is usually short lived. Because underlying muscles and soft tissues have not been strengthened and retrained, a relapse often occurs. Experience shows that when patients begin chiropractic care as adults, they have considerable structural and functional damage from years of neglect. A single “miracle” adjustment rarely produces permanent change.
Why not just take some muscle relaxers instead?

Chiropractors don’t dispense drugs of any kind. Muscle relaxers and even the most common over-the-counter pain medications fail on two counts. Sure they’re convenient, but they don’t correct the underlying cause of your problem. (What is actually causing the muscle to spasm?) Virtually every drug produces side effects. Which is a fancy way of saying they produce unwanted effects. These can include kidney failure, liver damage, addiction and even death.