Whenever one thinks of chest pain, we automatically associate it with cardiovascular problems and panic attacks. However, unknown to many, chest pains can also stem from nerve pinching. This happens when one or two of the spinal bones shift and press on nerve tissues. That’s why it’s not surprising that many patients seek a chiropractic atlas adjustment to address chest pain. Not sure how these two problems relate to each other? Let’s discuss further.
The Spinal Anatomy
To understand how chest pain and pinched nerve relate to one another, you need to familiarize yourself with the spinal anatomy. Essentially, your spine features several bones that hold the head in place. These bones and muscles also work together to support your head’s movement and encase the brainstem and the spinal cord.
Apart from the vertebral bones, you also have intervertebral discs, which shield each bone from damage and friction. Sadly, as you age or suffer from the deteriorating effects of smoking and drinking alcohol, your intervertebral discs wear out. This causes pain and sometimes triggers problems like disc bulging. It can also worsen other health conditions like bone spurs.
When you develop such spinal column problems, you become susceptible to nerve pinching or radiculopathy. If the pinching occurs along the thoracic area, you might experience chest pains accompanied by muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and tingling sensation on the neck, chest area, and back. We refer to this nerve pinching condition as thoracic radiculopathy.
Types of Radiculopathy
Often, patients who approach a doctor for a chiropractic atlas adjustment to relieve a pinched nerve problem have cervical, thoracic, or lumbar radiculopathy. Here’s a closer look at each type of radiculopathy:
- Cervical radiculopathy – The pinching problem occurs along the neck region. It can trigger tingling, burning, or numbing feeling on the neck, shoulder, and upper extremities.
- Thoracic radiculopathy – This happens when you have a compressed or irritated nerve on the upper spine. The pain caused by this condition tends to affect the chest and the entire torso area.
- Lumbar radiculopathy – If the nerve pinching affects the lower back, you get diagnosed with lumbar radiculopathy. It can hurt your lower back, hips, and lower extremities.
Can Anyone Suffer from Radiculopathy?
One of the common questions we get among patients seeking a chiropractic atlas adjustment is: can anyone develop a pinched nerve? Many believe that spinal nerve compression only affects older adults, especially those with pre-existing health problems like herniated discs. However, recent studies explain that even younger folks can struggle with radiculopathy, especially the cervical type.
This happens because apart from degenerative diseases, injuries or physical trauma can also cause cervical radiculopathy. Other studies note that radiculopathy can also occur due to other conditions like spinal tumors, spinal infections, and Sarcoidosis.
Radiculopathy may also develop and cause you excruciating pain if you have the following risk factors:
- Often carry heavy items
- Drive equipment with strong vibrations
- Smoke cigarettes
- Previously suffered from radiculopathy
What To Do When You Experience Chest Pains
Did you know that about 20 to 40 percent of the global population experience chest pain at some point? Some folks experience mild discomfort in their chest that lasts for a couple of seconds. Others report having sharp and intense blows that come and go in waves. It can also arise from all sorts of health conditions – some benign, while others can be life-threatening.
If you suddenly feel chest pain, don’t attempt to self-medicate or self-diagnose. Take note that chest pain is among the top signs of a heart or lung problem, such as a heart attack, coronary artery disease, and pneumonia. Call for an ambulance as soon as possible if you experience chest pain with any of the symptoms below:
- Tightness in the chest
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, and stomach
- Vertigo attack or sudden dizziness
- Cold sweats and nausea
- Rapid heart beating
- Unexplainable fever
- Acid reflux
- Trouble swallowing
It’s a must to get an accurate diagnosis of what caused your chest pain, especially if it frequently recurs. The earlier you unravel the root cause of your pain, the better prognosis you can have. Aside from the standard physical examination, your doctor might need to run additional tests like X-rays, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood tests. This way, you can have a more precise understanding of what’s going on inside your body.
Chiropractic Atlas Adjustment: Your Hope to Healing Faster
If you have ruled out other potential causes of your chest pain, you might find it beneficial to try getting a chiropractic atlas adjustment. It’s a great addition to your healthcare routine, and it can help address radiculopathy – a potential source of your problem.
Thousands of patients seek the assistance of an upper cervical care doctor because of the growing number of case studies that attest to the effectiveness of this approach. It’s an all-natural approach anchored on the idea that your body can heal independently.
The goal of upper cervical care chiropractic is to relieve the pressure on the cervical spine. It involves making gentle adjustments to the upper cervical bones that might have shifted due to a previous injury.
Slowly but surely, the procedure helps you restore the alignment of other vertebral bones and enhance the recovery rate of the affected tissues. It may also come in handy in alleviating other radiculopathy symptoms such as muscle spasms and numbness.
Be informed on how you can benefit from upper cervical care from a local neck chiropractor today!