Are you experiencing pain in your back? Does it ache and turn sharp with certain movements? Does it radiate down your arm or leg? You may have a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerves are often indicative of larger health problems and can significantly impact your quality of life without proper treatment. Here are four main causes of pinched nerves, according to Dr. Stephen Graham of Graham Chiropractic in Louisville.
1. Bad spinal alignment
A misaligned spine generates extra stress on various parts of the body and can narrow openings through which spinal nerves flow. Over time, this can cause compression of the nerves that leads to pain and weakness.
Often caused by chronic bad alignment, arthritis is inflammation in the joint. It’s estimated that 90 percent of people over 55 experience some form of arthritis. In the spine, that inflammation can stress the bone, which reacts by building more bone in an effort to repair itself. These bone “spurs” press on the spinal nerve.
3. Degenerated spinal discs
The jelly-filled discs that cushion your spine act as the body’s main shock absorbers. Over time, it is not uncommon for discs to wear down, narrowing the nerve opening and trapping the nerve.
4. Slipped or herniated discs
When spinal discs become dehydrated with age or disease, the tough outer ring can tear, allowing the soft, interior portion to bulge out. The misshapen disc can press on surrounding nerves.
Other Facts About Pinched Nerves
Risk factors for pinched nerves include: rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, obesity, pregnancy and over-use. In addition, long periods of lying down can put pressure on the spine and increase nerve compression.
A pinched nerve is generally accompanied by pain and muscle spasms. Pain that radiates down the leg indicates a pinched nerve in the lower spine. A pinched nerve can also be indicated by numbness and weakness in the extremities, or tingling, burning and electric hot/cold sensations.
Dr. Graham notes that the worst thing you can do for a pinched nerve is ignore it. Exacerbating the nerve compression can cause increased pain and could lead to a need for back surgery.
Graham reports that whether it is a pinched nerve from bad alignment, arthritis, degeneration or a slipped disc, in most cases it can be remedied naturally without drugs or surgery.
He went on to say that many of his patients report significant improvement after the very first adjustment, but generally within just 30 days.
For more information on pinched nerves you can visit Dr. Stephen Graham at his website or call 502-245-9999.