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What EXACTLY is a pinched nerve?

What exactly is a pinched nerve? That question usually brings a lot of thoughts to mind because if you've ever had a "pinched nerve," you've felt misery. Sharp and intense shooting pain-- that doesn’t cease-- is the main symptom that first comes up. Other symptoms like burning, tingling, or numbness are associated with a “pinched nerve." 

In actuality, rarely are nerves truly “pinched." More often, they're compressed, or pressed by tissues like ligaments or bones. These altered and uncomfortable "pinched" sensations are more often caused by irritation of rubbing, stretching, scraping or squeezing of the nerve within an improperly moving joint.

Nerves transmit information for pretty much everything that goes on in your body. They let you feel, see, hear, smell, and taste. They tell your muscles what to do, keep you breathing, pumping, and digesting. When stress (mental, physical, chemical, emotional, etc.) interrupts this flow of energy between your brain and the rest of your body, it can drastically affect your health.

As a chiropractor, my job is to find these stressed, and irritated areas- also known as subluxations- where the life is being choked. Once the problem has been found, an adjustment to the area is made to establish proper joint function and bring improvements to the body’s ability to communicate information. It's best to catch subluxations before they turn into crippling pain, and cause too much wear on the protective barrier around the nerve. In these rare and extreme cases, this can lead to severe intervention. However, this is typically preventable.

My job is to remove the interference before it goes that far. Just like dental cavities that don't always ache, not all subluxations cause first. Keeping your spine free of nerve stress is critical for maximum health and mobility.

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