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Pinched Nerve?

pinched nerve

“Doc, I think I have a pinched nerve.”  Not so fast.  I hear this so often from new patients when they come into my Newmarket chiropractic clinic.  It may in fact be a pinched nerve caused by a disc bulge or bone spur, but more commonly it is caused from irritation or inflammation of a nerve root resulting from an alignment problem.

Common Causes

Here are the most common causes of a pinched or irritated nerve root I see in my practice:

  • Spinal alignment/balance problem
  • Arthritis or bone spur
  • Disc bulge or herniation
  • Water retention or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy)
  • Inflammation

Signs and Symptoms

There are many different signs and symptoms you may experience.  Here are some you should not ignore:

  • Numbness and tingling
    • pain, numbness, or tingling radiating into the arm from your neck is called cervical radiculopathy
    • pain, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back to your leg/foot is called sciatica
  • Limb weakness
  • Pain
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (go to emergency if you experience this)

X-Ray or MRI

Both are good to find out the underlying reason.  X-rays can see if the cause is coming from an alignment problem, a bone spur, or arthritis.  An MRI can help determine if the cause is coming from a disc bulge or herniation, or other more sinister causes like a tumor (rare).

What can you do?

  1. Seek help – we can find and address the cause. If a referral is necessary, we can do that as well.
  2. Move/exercise to your tolerance
  3. Do gentle stretching
  4. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
  5. Use heat or ice…read this to know which is best

Whether or not the problem is a “pinched nerve”, we will find the cause with our in-depth consultation and examination.  Getting on the road to recovery, will allow you to finally get back to doing the things you love.

Get off your nerves,

Dr. Jon Saunders

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