Oh, the Nerve! … of a Pinched Nerve
by Dr. Kevin O’Hara of O’Hara Family Chiropractic
Defined, a pinched nerve is a simple name for a condition that can cause its sufferer a complex world of pain; and sometimes, additional complications. The term itself is a catch-all phrase, commonly used to describe pain associated with a variety of conditions, such as subluxations, tunnel syndromes, and referred pain from trigger points.
In most cases, when someone says they have a pinched nerve, the nerve itself is not pinched, but is actually irritated or inflamed. Frequently, this occurs when the bones, joints, or muscles of the spine are either out of alignment or not moving properly. This condition is called subluxation.
However, pinched nerves do actually occur, as with carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, and thoracic outlet syndrome. In each of these cases, the pain stems from an injury, spasm, or inflammation of the surrounding muscles and connective tissue that becomes compressed. These ailments are referred to as “tunnel syndromes” and respond extremely well to chiropractic care.
It is very important the cause of pain be correctly diagnosed; especially, when the irritation or compression is severe or long-term, as this may lead to permanent nerve damage. Seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent further complications.