Nerve pinching, compression, or irritation are relatively common among Americans. However, not many people know that they have this health concern. Others also take their nerve health for granted, thinking it won’t get any worse. If you happen to be among these people, our discussion on nerve compression might enlighten you on the risks that it poses to your overall health. Read on to learn what happens if you don’t get help for your pinched nerve and how an atlas bone adjustment can help you improve your symptoms.
What is Nerve Compression?
Nerve pinching or compression affects 85 out of 100,000 Americans. It triggers all sorts of health problems ranging from paresthesia (pins and needles) to radiating nerve pain (sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.). Studies note that it can develop in various sections of the spinal column, including the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas and the different joints in the body like those found in your wrist and ankles.
To help you understand nerve compression or irritation better, let’s take a closer look at some of the most commonly affected body parts:
Have you ever experienced radiating pain in your arm and elbows? If yes, then you might have developed ulnar nerve entrapment or tennis elbow. According to statistics, about 1 to 3 percent of Americans develop tennis elbow. While it commonly affects athletes, it can also develop in individuals who do the following excessively:
- Making awkward hand or arm movements
- Doing repetitive tasks such as processing items in a factory
- Cutting through tough food items
- Working through your yard or garden
- Throwing heavy items
A tennis elbow can heal independently or require medical attention depending on the nature of your injury and overall health condition. It would be best to consult with your physician to determine the best course of action.
Lumbar spine and one of your legs
As we mentioned above, nerve compression can sometimes lead to sciatica – one of the country’s leading causes of chronic pain. Reports say that sciatica affects about 40 percent of the US population. It sets off various problems, including muscle weakness, chronic back and leg pain, and pins and needles sensation.
Patients diagnosed with this condition note that they only experience the symptoms on one side of the body. However, there are some cases some patients have that they have bilateral sciatica, leaving them susceptible to problems like cauda equina syndrome and bladder and bowel incontinence.
Nerve compression in the thoracic spine is uncommon. However, when it does occur, it can cause significant discomfort to patients. Patients diagnosed with radiculopathy experience pain and numbness that tends to wrap around the upper body. It usually develops due to disc degeneration diseases affecting the shoulder blades, chest, and other trunk parts.
What Happens If You Leave Your Pinched Nerve Untreated?
Pinched, irritated, or compressed nerves usually heal on their own. In fact, some patients who have this health problem notice significant improvements in their symptoms within six weeks. Sadly, there are instances when nerve compression or radiculopathy doesn’t improve over time. These cases usually involve those with cervical subluxation or misalignments in other parts of their spine.
Are you among these individuals? If your pain or pins and needles sensation doesn’t fade or disappear within four to six weeks, we strongly suggest seeking a chiropractor for an atlas bone adjustment or a nerve specialist. Otherwise, you might develop or increase your risks for the following:
Muscles may weaken if you leave your pinched nerve unattended by your physician or upper cervical doctor. You can also potentially suffer from muscle atrophy, which can cause your muscle fibers to become thin and unable to flex and extend properly.
Irreversible nerve damage
The nerves come with a protective layer called the myelin sheath. It comprises several layers of proteins and fats that may break down when exposed to constant mechanical strain from a misaligned vertebra like the atlas bone.
Over time, the structure of the affected myelin sheath deteriorates, leaving your nerves at risk of significant and lasting damage.
If you notice signs of nerve compression, such as those mentioned above, we strongly suggest seeking help as soon as possible. Here are some options you can try:
- Take NSAIDs or medications designed to dampen the body’s inflammatory response
- Steer clear from food products or substances that trigger inflammation
- Consult with your physician to determine if you need a surgical operation to remove the tissue compressing your nerves
- Consult with an upper cervical doctor to know if an atlas bone adjustment can help you alleviate your pain
How Can an Atlas Bone Adjustment Help?
So, how exactly can neck bone adjustments alleviate nerve pain? What makes it an excellent option for patients living with nerve compression? The answers to these questions lie in the mechanism of upper cervical care.
As you might already know, upper cervical chiropractic is a sophisticated alternative remedy that aims to fix postural imbalances and eliminate signal disruptions in the body. It uses delicate procedures designed to work on the C1 and C2 bone alignment discrepancies. Some examples of the diagnostic tests provided by an upper cervical chiropractor include the following:
- Three-dimensional scanning of the C1 and C2 bones
- Computerized analysis of the head, neck, and spinal alignment
- Leg length test (to check the alignment of the hips and legs)
- Nerve damage examination using thermal scans (to assess the severity of the subluxation)
Many patients with lingering nerve compression symptoms enjoy significant improvements after receiving C1 and C2 bone adjustments. So, it would be worth it to consider this option as well when seeking nerve pain relief.
We hope our discussion above helped you understand the dangers of leaving a compressed nerve for granted. Additionally, we hope you start taking advantage of the benefits of an atlas bone adjustment. Begin your healing journey by seeking an upper cervical doctor near your location today!