What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

There are many causes for irritation referred to as a ‘pinched nerve’ in the body.  A ‘pinched nerve’ is painful, it restricts function, and it can be brought on by physical, emotional, and chemical stressors that cause inflammation, injury, and misalignment. Chiropractic adjustments help keep the nervous system free of irritation and pain.

How does a nerve actually get pinched?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, the term ‘pinched nerve’ is really a layman’s term to help visualize what is happening within the body. A nerve anywhere in the body can get irritated and I think that is what is meant by the word ‘pinched.’ That can be from being compressed, from being irritated through inflammation, through injury, through misalignments, through a host of variables that can create that nerve getting irritated. Then what we see is the consequence of that which can be numbness, tingling, pain, burning sensation, various symptoms that go along with that pinched nerve.

Can nerves get pinched anywhere in your body, are some areas more susceptible?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, I think when people talk about pinched nerves, they’re mostly talking about spinal nerves and they’re in the neck, mid-back, low back, or all areas where nerves can get irritated, and as a result of various things, injuries, misalignments, inflammation. But nerves can get entrapped elsewhere in the body – in elbow, wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome, they can happen in the hips, it can happen anywhere where the nerves that can be irritated or pinched or compressed from joints, inflammation, muscles, and those variables.

Does repetitive motion from work or sports cause pinched nerves?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: They can. Repetitive motion can cause inflammation, tearing. And that inflammation and tearing in that area can compress that nerve, causing what a pinched nerve is. That can happen from repetitive motion, that can happen from a sports injury, anywhere where you’re having damage to muscles with inflammation, that can irritate that nerve and create problems.

Can obesity and excess weight gain cause pinched nerves?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Yes, they can. Indirectly, the extra weight, especially if it’s in the abdominal area, can put a lot of stress on the lower back because it’s actually pulling on that lower back and that can throw things out of alignment and can irritate nerves and cause pinched nerves.

Are there any other causes of pinched nerves?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: There are many causes and they can be physical, emotional, and chemical. Physical are the ones we described whether it be injuries or repetitive injuries or weight, posture, those are all areas where we can get pinched nerves. Emotional stress. Emotional stress can have a physical effect on the body. The hormones that get released as a result, the cortisone and other things can create irritations in the body that can create misalignments, that can create pinched nerves. Chemically, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, has more and more chemicals in it, and that in and of itself can cause imbalances in the body that can create pinched nerves.

Are there any other treatments available for pinched nerves?

Dr. Karyn Marshall: Well, I think ideally the best treatment is chiropractic care, chiropractic adjustments, and what we do when we look at structure and we look at alignment and we look at how the body is affected by the different stressors and we remove that through the chiropractic adjustment and that takes the pressure off of the nerves and can create a healthier environment.

Learn More

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Marshall or Dr. Cronk visit www.championchiro.com or call 732-741-1000 to schedule an appointment.

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