Joel L. Buckner, D.C., C.C.I.C., C.C.E.P.
387 Haywood Lane
Nashville, TN 37211

Pinched Nerves

"Pinched nerves" is a generalized term for mechanical nerve pain from joint and muscle problems.

True pinched nerves are compressed and result in weakness like foot drop, and may need surgical treatment to decompress the nerve and prevent permanent damage. This is called a motor nerve deficit and can be usually be detected by physical examination. Fortunately, most mechanical nerve problems are due to irritation causing facilitation or hypersensitivity, which in turn causes pain, numbness, tingling, or burning sensations. Nerves can stretch and bend with normal activities and function. But if they become irritated or entrapped due to injury or cumulative effects, symptoms may result. Imagine if you rubbed a spot on your arm. At first this would be no problem but if you kept it up long enough it would likely become sore and irritated.

Chiropractic care is designed to find what is causing the irritation, often a stiff joint, tight muscle, scar tissue adhesion, or disc problem, and treat that to improve function and reduce irritation. Problems can occur not only in the spine but also along the course of a nerve through the body.

Typically, except for a motor nerve deficit and certain other signs or symptoms, x-rays and MRI are not necessary unless symptoms continue beyond a reasonable period of conservative care, usually 3 - 4 weeks.