A pinched nerve is a form of nerve injury that often results in numbness, pins and needles sensation, and radiating pain. It can occur in specific regions in the spinal column, including the lower back. Lumbar radiculopathy, sciatica, or a pinched nerve in the lower back affects about 3 to 5 percent of the population. This condition can easily cause severe disability and discomfort. If left unresolved, it can lead to long-term problems like permanent nerve damage.
Learn about how you can cope with a pinched nerve in the lower back in our discussion below. Check out the top options that patients use and how each remedy can help you manage your symptoms.
A Closer Look at Pinched Nerve in the Lower back
The lumbar or lower back spine consists of five pairs of nerves. Each pair innervates or supplies sensation to specific parts of the lower extremities. Here’s a quick overview of the five lumbar spinal nerves:
- L1 – The L1 contributes to the movement of the hip muscles. This nerve pair also supplies sensation to the genital and groin region.
- L2, L3, and L4 – These three nerve pairs control the hip and knee movements. Also, they provide sensation to the inner side of your legs and the front side of the thighs.
- L5 – The pair controls movements of the hips, knees, toes, and feet. In addition, the L5 nerve pair supplies sensation to the outer side of the legs and the uppermost part of each foot.
In some cases of lumbar pain, the nerve pinching occurs at the sciatic nerve, which comprises five nerves, namely L4, L5, and S1 to S4.
Unfortunately, when bones, muscles, and blood vessels compress or pinch any of the nerve pairs, you experience searing pain and other notable symptoms such as:
- Paresthesia or pins and needles sensation
- Weakness or numbness of the lower back, butt, and leg muscles
- Searing or stabbing pain that spreads from the lower back to the toes
- Painful sensations that get worse every time you move your lower extremities
If you have a rare case of sciatica pain or if your condition has significantly progressed into nerve damage, you might experience additional symptoms. Two examples include urinary incontinence and pain on both sides of the lower body.
If you observe such symptoms, we recommend calling your doctor and receiving emergency assistance right away.
Secret Remedies for Managing Lumbar Pain
Sometimes, lower back pain can go away on its own. This is common primarily if the pain stems from physical overexertion at work. However, if the problem arises from other conditions such as a previous injury, herniated discs, bone spurs, neck misalignment, and spinal stenosis, you may need medical attention.
Below are some of the usual remedies that patients seek when they experience mild to severe lower back pain:
- Work on your posture – No matter if you sit or stand, you should always take note of your body posture. This can heavily impact your spine health. Poor posture can also aggravate a pinched nerve in the lower back.
- Try doing gentle lower back stretches – Pain sometimes get worse when the muscles get stiff. To prevent this from happening, we suggest doing gentle back stretches. Try spending about 10 to 15 minutes a day on your stretching exercises to see improvements.
- Use heat and cold therapy wisely – Soothe muscle pain and soreness with cold therapy and promote healing with a hot compress. Use either of the approaches for no more than 15 minutes per interval.
- Manage pain with OTC pain medication – If you need quick relief from your symptoms, taking pain medications like NSAIDs might help. Be sure to follow the prescription and avoid taking too much.
- Upper cervical care – Managing or resolving lower back pain due to a pinched nerve is now possible with procedures like upper cervical care. It’s a safe and all-natural approach that focuses on the alignment of your neck bones.
How Can a Chiropractor Help a Pinched Nerve in the Lower Back?
The simple answer to the question is yes. Studies on lower back pain show that upper cervical care can help patients experience lasting and sustainable relief. But how exactly can a chiropractor help a pinched nerve along the lower back?
The answer lies in the design and function of your neck. The neck is a specialized structure that balances and supports the head. More importantly, it houses the brainstem and several nerve roots. Unfortunately, if the neck bones shift from their original alignment, they can press on the nerves and spinal column. The rest of the spine might also need to adjust, resulting in nerve pinching or compression in areas such as the lower back.
If your lower back pain doesn’t improve after trying home remedies or medication, you can check out upper cervical chiropractic. It’s a practical and holistic procedure that fixes faulty neck alignment. Gradually and carefully, an upper cervical doctor adjusts the neck bones. Once your bones ease back in place, you can relieve the pressure on the nerve roots and restore balance along the spinal column.
Overall, the procedure aims to help you manage lower back pain and other symptoms. It’s an excellent option to try, especially if you suspect neck bone misalignment due to an injury, physical trauma, obesity, and poor sitting or standing posture.
Want to see more evidence on your question, “can a chiropractor help a pinched nerve in the lower back?” Find a nearby upper cervical chiropractor for your pinched nerve in the lower back today and start seeing results!