Maintaining an excellent body posture goes beyond reflecting your personality or developing your self-esteem. As we tell most patients seeking an atlas bone adjustment, the way you walk or sit can significantly impact your spinal health. Unfortunately, it can also contribute, or trigger the development of severe health problems. To help you figure out how your body posture can impact your daily life, let’s touch on its role in developing radiculopathy or a pinched nerve.
Who Develops Radiculopathy?
Radiculopathy may sound like a highly complex health condition. However, in truth, it only refers to a pinched nerve problem. Most of the cases of radiculopathy stem from scoliosis or disc herniation – a typical issue that older folks develop. However, recent studies show that even younger people can develop radiculopathy due to poor posture. This is why it’s common to see a wide range of age groups seeking procedures such as an atlas bone adjustment for pinched nerve relief.
When you have a pinched nerve, you might experience all kinds of symptoms, including:
- Sharp or searing pain in your arms, legs, and back that gets worse when you engage in physical activities
- Loss of muscle reflex or general body weakness
- Experiencing pins and needles sensation, especially on your legs or arms
Sometimes, these symptoms worsen when you sleep, depriving you of quality rest and reducing your pain tolerance levels. Also, note that the painful sensations you experience due to a pinched nerve may only occur in specific regions. For example, if the affected nerve roots are on the neck area, the symptoms above might only affect the upper back, neck, and arms.
How Can Body Posture Problems Lead to Radiculopathy?
Now that you have a bit of background on how a pinched nerve might affect you, you may be wondering: where does bad posture fit into the equation? What does slouching or leaning forward have to do with the development of your pain? The answer to that lies in your spine and neck. So here’s a closer look:
Your neck and the spine anatomy
The neck and spine have a fascinating structure, giving them the ability to move and function with great ease. However, this very same feature makes the spine and neck quite susceptible to damage.
When the bones or the intervertebral discs on your spinal column shift from their original location, they might press on the nerve roots. This leads to searing or shooting pain that may come and go.
Each time you try to move, the pressure on the affected nerve also increases. As a result, even shifting your position in bed or turning your head sidewards can cause you immense pain. It also worsens over time as you keep on doing practices that impact your body posture, such as:
- Slumping on your office chair when you work
- Carrying heavy items like backpacks on one side of the body
- Putting a phone in between your shoulder and neck
- Wearing high heels for long hours
- Using a mattress or pillow that doesn’t provide ample support on your back
- Overstretching your neck during a workout
- Looking up or down for prolonged periods
Your best option to avoid aggravating the situation or provide relief to your aching nerves is to work on your posture. First, try to observe yourself in the mirror and pay close attention to how you stand, sit or walk. Then, you can apply posture correction techniques like strengthening your core, relaxing your shoulders, and making adjustments to your workspace.
Is a Pinched Nerve Hopeless?
While pinched nerves may not be as bothersome for some people, they could lead to serious problems if left unresolved. Permanent nerve damage, for example, may shortly follow due to the prolonged inflammation of your nerve roots. It can cause you to lose sensation in the affected parts of your body.
Thankfully, finding relief from a compressed or pinched nerve isn’t a lost cause. You can try all kinds of remedies to soothe your pain. Below are some practical ways to cope with a compressed or irritated nerve.
Working on your body posture
Sometimes, when you’re used to maintaining a poor body posture, you barely notice the difference. But, unknowingly, this pushes your body to undergo structural changes. Start implementing necessary changes to how you stand, sit, or stride. Check your posture or ask a family or friend to pinpoint what you need to work on.
Using heat or cold therapy
Applying a cold or hot pack can help curb your pinched nerve symptoms. We strongly recommend using ice or cold compress to reduce inflammation. When the affected area no longer feels sore, you can apply a hot compress or dip in a soothing hot bath.
Taking pain relievers
Whether prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter, pain medications might come in handy in coping with a pinched nerve. Find a suitable drug to use and take them according to your doctor’s instructions.
Upper Cervical Care
Upper cervical chiropractic helps patients experience less severe pinched nerve symptoms. In addition, it’s a promising natural approach to handling pain. Essentially, it involves correcting misalignments on the first two bones in the neck. This way, you can reduce the pressure on your nerve roots.
Addressing Pinched Nerves with an Atlas Bone Adjustment
Several studies show that upper cervical chiropractic also applies to patients with lumbar or thoracic radiculopathy. By restoring your neck alignment, you can also fix other problems along other regions of the spine. This way, your spinal structure goes back to its natural curved position.
The sooner you can address your atlas subluxation, the faster you can also get rid of your pinched nerve symptoms.
Take the next step to manage your radiculopathy symptoms by calling a local upper cervical clinic for an atlas bone adjustment today!