Yes, it is possible. You hear the term “pinched nerve” a lot, and it’s usually in reference to pain. When people think of a pinched nerve, they may think of pain in the neck or back that warrants help from an upper cervical chiropractor. But did you know that you can have a pinched nerve without pain? Sometimes, a pinched nerve comes with other symptoms that don’t involve pain, but patients should still be wary of other symptoms that can cause equally debilitating effects on the body.
Before we dive into the other symptoms of a pinched nerve, let’s briefly talk about what a pinched nerve is. A pinched nerve occurs when your nerve endures undue pressure and stress. This pressure can be caused by repetitive motions, poor posture, arthritis, or even extra weight. When pressure is applied to a nerve for an extended period, it can cause the nerve to become irritated or inflamed. And when that happens, you may experience some discomfort or other symptoms in the area where the nerve is located.
Nerves are highly susceptible to irritation when they travel through narrow spaces with little protection. Pinching of nerves can happen when a nerve is compressed between tissues, including your bones, ligaments, and tendons.
Where do you usually feel pinched nerves?
A pinched nerve in your neck is called cervical radiculopathy. It develops when nerve roots in your cervical spine get compressed by nearby structures and become inflamed or irritated. It can lead to a stiff neck that can progress to severe pain and numbness in the shoulder and arm. Patients with cervical radiculopathy usually consult upper cervical chiropractic doctors. But, you can also tap into other remedies like physical therapy and epidural steroid injection.
#2. Upper middle back
A pinched nerve in this part is called thoracic radiculopathy. This causes numbness and pain to wrap around your body’s front and side parts. It’s not the most common area to experience pinched nerves.
#3. Lower back
Pinched nerves in the lower back, also called lumbar radiculopathy, can bring pain in your lower back that extends down to your hips, buttocks, and legs. The narrowing part of your spine may trigger a pinched nerve in this area. Bone spurs, disc herniation, or stenosis are some possible causes of why a part of your spine becomes narrow.
A pinched nerve in your chest, called thoracic radiculopathy, can trigger pain in the chest area with bouts of sharp, aching, or burning pain that can radiate outwards. You may also notice the presence of tingling, pins and needles sensations, and muscle weakness in the affected area. A pinched nerve in this area may seem alarming to many as it may raise fears of other severe health concerns.
#5. Hand, elbow, and wrist
It’s common for people with carpal tunnel syndrome to bring pain in these areas. Sometimes, more than pain, you will feel numbness, tingling sensation, and weakness in the affected hand and fingers.
Pinched Nerves Without Pain: What Are The Symptoms?
Contrary to popular belief, pinched nerves don’t hurt all the time. Notably, some cases of radiculopathy cause little to no pain and discomfort. Instead, it only causes other symptoms like:
- Muscle cramps
If you notice said symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis is vital so you will know your next steps, especially if it’s been happening for a while now. You may also notice swelling and scarring in your affected body part.
So despite the absence of pain, there are signs of pinched nerves, which still need to be addressed appropriately. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your symptoms can intensify when you use your hands, wrists, or fingers—the same with sciatica. When you engage in movements such as turning your head, you strain the affected nerve more and may notice your symptoms more.
How Long Does It Take To Heal A Pinched Nerve?
Apart from the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms caused by the pinched nerve, sometimes ignoring it is virtually impossible. Symptoms tend to be bothersome and affect your usual movement and prevent you from participating in various activities.
But with proper care, you can most definitely manage the pain and improve your chances for a quick recovery. In most cases, pinched nerve cases can clear out after a few days. Unfortunately, sometimes it can linger between four to six weeks (or even longer) if the root cause involves cervical spine misalignments.
As a rule of thumb, you must seek assistance right away if the symptoms prevent you from doing things or if they persist longer than usual. Visit your healthcare provider or explore alternative care options such as upper cervical chiropractic care to help your body heal and prevent worse issues for the compressed or irritated nerve tissue.
What Happens If You Don’t Address Nerve Compression?
Ignoring the symptoms of your pinched nerves that’s been bothering you for weeks is discouraged. You can always actively do something to counter the numbness, weakness, or tingling in the affected part. You don’t have to endure the debilitating symptoms that can affect your mobility.
If you notice the presence of symptoms in the affected area for over six weeks, it’s time to pay closer attention to your pinched nerves. Pinched nerves can progress, get worse, and trigger chronic pain. This can also lead to permanent damage to the affected nerves that may be irreparable once it occurs. If your pinched nerves are not improving after trying some remedies, bring it up with your healthcare provider before it worsens.
Upper Cervical Care for Pinched Nerve
An upper cervical spine misalignment has been linked to several cases of pinched nerves. There’s also a high chance of pinched nerve developing due to trauma or injury endured in the neck or head. In addition, poor posture and repetitive stress endured by this part of your spine can cause misalignments and pinched nerves.
Upper cervical chiropractic care provides a promising potential for long-term pinched nerve relief. But your chiropractic doctor must first determine if a misalignment is linked to your pinched nerve. If necessary, this is done through thorough physical examinations, X-ray scans, and other measuring tools.
Once they confirm a misalignment, they will recommend a series of tailored fit adjustments that perfectly matches your needs. Every misalignment is unique to the person. Therefore, your adjustments are specifically designed to help manage your condition.
The adjustments will involve safely and gently moving your upper cervical bones as it prompts the rest of the affected part to heal naturally. But it’s better to get this done before severe damage has occurred. The adjustments will also relieve your nerves from stress and pressure, eventually removing any interference in your blood flow. Once tension and compression diminish, the affected nerves, muscles, joints, and ligaments will slowly return to their normal function, and you will notice your symptoms gradually disappear.
If a pinched nerve has been bothering you, reach out to an upper cervical chiropractic doctor near you, you might be surprised how much better you’ll feel even after just a few adjustments. Then, you will realize that living without neuropathic symptoms and pain is much better and more enjoyable.