What Are the Effects of an Untreated Pinched Nerve?


Nerve compression or irritation might not be something you hear about every day. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a real problem. For thousands of Americans, nerve pinching or compression is the root cause of painful health concerns ranging from radiculopathy to sciatica. Most of the time, people shrug it off, hoping that it would resolve on its own. Unfortunately, their cases progress and result in worse problems like permanent nerve damage. 

Find out how an untreated pinched nerve can affect your body and discover the answers to some patient FAQs, including “can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve?” as you read on.


What is Nerve Pinching and How Can It Affect You?

Nerve pinching or compression is among the leading causes of many troubling and debilitating symptoms like pins and needles, muscle tingling or weakness, and radiating pain. It can impact several parts of the body, depending on where the pinching happened. 

For example, if you have a pinched nerve on the cervical spine or the wrist, you will likely experience discomfort on the affected hand and fingers. You might also develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affects about three to six percent of American adults.

Nerve compression can also occur in these parts of the body: 

Lower back and one of the legs 

Nerve compression in the lumbar spine leads to the onset of sciatica, a painful nerve problem that causes searing pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and lower extremities. The pain often affects one side of the body. However, some patients report bilateral sciatica and experience additional health concerns like urinary and bowel incontinence. 

Arms and elbows 

Ulnar nerve entrapment affects one of the arms and its corresponding elbow. Doctors refer to this specific nerve compression problem as the Tennis Elbow. Sometimes Tennis Elbow gets better without medical interventions. However, it can last up to two years if you fail to rest the injured or affected parts.   

Thoracic spine or middle back

When you have compressed nerves in the thoracic spine, you might experience a tingling sensation that you might mistake for a symptom of a panic attack, pneumonia, or heart attack. The condition primarily develops because of degenerative disc diseases and affects the middle back, including the shoulders, upper chest, and the rest of your trunk.

can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve

What Happens If You Leave Your Pinched Nerve Untreated? 

A pinched, irritated, or compressed nerve can sometimes heal on its own. That’s why sometimes patients raise questions like “can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve?” or “is it necessary to seek additional help for a pinched nerve?”.

Orthopedic doctors explain that if the nerve compression traces its roots to disc degeneration and cervical spine misalignment, you might need professional medical assistance.  Otherwise, the nerve pinching can lead to worse problems, such as:

Permanent damage of the myelin sheath

The protective layer in nerve tissues can break down due to prolonged inflammation. Unfortunately, this increases your risk for irreversible nerve damage and leads to loss of sensation on the affected body part. 

Muscle wasting or weakness

Studies show muscle weakness or wasting indicates nerve damage and untreated nerve root compression. You can potentially lose the ability to move the body parts connected to the affected muscle fibers. 

If you suspect nerve pinching, it might help to try remedies as soon as possible. Some examples of the options that people with nerve compression can try include the following: 

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication to ease pressure on inflamed areas
  • Avoiding food products that you are sensitive to, such as peanuts, shellfish, and dairy
  • Undergoing surgical removal of tissues (such as blood vessels and bone spurs) pressing on the nerve roots 
  • Seeking an atlas or C1 bone correction from an upper cervical doctor 

Can A Chiropractor Fix A Pinched Nerve?

Countless people wonder how upper cervical chiropractic helps with a pinched nerve, especially in body parts other than the neck. That’s because many assume that upper cervical care only applies to neck and upper back pain. So, how can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve anyway?

Upper cervical care is a popular chiropractic technique that seeks to restore C1 and C2 bone misalignments. It aims to eliminate nerve pinching or compression on the cervical spine and other body parts by correcting positional distortions in your neck. 

Each adjustment that an upper cervical doctor provides is gentle and well-calculated. That’s because, during the initial consultation, patients undergo a detailed X-ray scan to measure and pinpoint the exact location of the bone misalignments.  

It aims to provide desirable results like lesser pain and nerve compression. Moreover, the adjustments improve signal transmission between your brain and the affected body part, ensuring a speedy healing and recovery journey. 

The care plan can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Typically, an upper cervical doctor draws a conclusion based on your symptoms, the severity of your nerve compression, and the root cause of your nerve compression. 

Rest assured, once your spinal curvature starts getting restored to its normal curvature, you can slowly eliminate your symptoms and achieve better and revitalized health.

Do you still have second thoughts on the question, “how can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve?” See the results yourself and learn the importance of your cervical spine alignment by finding the nearest upper cervical practice and booking an appointment.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.