When a nerve is not functioning properly it is called a neuropathy. In some cases, joint restrictions in the spine induces inflammation in the area causing the nerves that originate from those specific spinal segments to function abnormally. This is called a radiculopathy (a neuropathy that comes from the spine) and often leads to pain, tingling, numbness and weakness along the course of that nerve. Sciatica is common example of this condition. However, not all cases of abnormally functioning nerves originate from the spine. A case of Sciatica may be due to a spinal dysfunction but it could also be due to what’s called a peripheral nerve entrapment. A peripheral nerve entrapment is when a nerve is “pinched” not at the spine but somewhere else along the course of that nerve. In these instances treatment of the spine will not alleviate the pain and discomfort.
Generally, symptoms of a “pinched nerve” can be quite intense. They can range from a small numb area in an extremity to sharp jolts of pain down a nerves path. Patients may also experience some muscle weakness in an area, but without any sensory problems. At times, pinched nerves can simulate the symptoms experienced by a disc herniation, so it’s best to have your chiropractor make the determination before rushing to judgement on which problem it may be.
Chiropractic treatment for these injuries is very successful and quite often, patients experience relief sooner when compared to allopathic remedies, which often involve muscle relaxers and pain killers. Those medicinal attempts do nothing for physically removing the pressure placed on nerves. Expect X-Rays to be taken if symptoms like the ones described above are experienced. Chiropractic adjustments are ideal in treating pinched nerves, especially when the area of entrapment involves the spine or extremities.