“Doc, I Think I Have a Pinched Nerve!”

I’m sure all doctors have heard this before: “Doc, I think I have a pinched nerve.”

Symptoms like arm or leg pain, tingling or numbness are common when a nerve is pinched, stretched or otherwise irritated. There are other symptoms which can be a result of pinched nerves as well.

The nerves are the communication network of our bodies. So, it is not a healthy situation to have them “pinched.” Alter the communication between the body parts and you create altered body function (dysfunction). Dysfunction causes bodily symptoms which will vary depending on what that nerve controls. If the nerve irritation is allowed to continue uncorrected, the dysfunction may advance to a disease state. If left still longer the disease may become irreversible.

The cause of any “pinched” nerves must be removed. The following analogy may help to illustrate this process. If you took a string and tied it tightly around one of your fingers you would soon notice some symptoms like pain, swelling and discoloration. It will continue to swell, change color and become painful. It may hurt enough for you to want to take a painkiller. If you do and the pain stops, you may feel that the problem has been solved. But then you notice that the swelling still persists so you put it in ice water and possibly try some anti-inflammatory pills. It may make a difference but you know something is still not right. The finger is turning quite dark. You may be tempted to paint it pink. Of course, if you were to continue along this line of thinking, the problem would advance so far enough that there would only be one solution. You will have to have it cut off. And this will in fact solve the problem. Except now you have lost part of your finger.

There is a way to address this problem without the use of drugs or surgery. In this case you should just take the string off. And the result will be much better if you remove it immediately. If left on too long the body part cannot recover. It is always best to find the source of the problem and remove it as early as possible. It is unwise to launch into a program of treating the symptoms as if they were the problem. This may allow things to progress to a more serious problem.

Chiropractic seeks to locate and correct the cause of abnormal pressure and irritation to joints, muscles and nerves. These irritations cause dysfunction and are usually associated with various symptoms and health problems. They can often be detected when symptoms are so slight that they are not yet a concern to you. The correction is primarily by means of a chiropractic adjustment. In some cases other adjunctive treatments may be employed. Remember, chiropractic can help. Just don’t wait too long.

There is a great deal more to say on these health issues and we would be glad to answer questions anyone might have.

By Dr. Jerry Pyrozko, B.Sc., DC

Arise Chiropractic, Vernon, BC

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