“Pinched nerve” is a term used to describe pain associated with many different conditions ranging from subluxations to tunnel syndromes to the pain from triggered points. A pinched nerve refers to an irritated, inflamed nerve where the nerve itself is not really pinched. In many cases, subluxation occurs; this is where the nerves become inflamed when the muscles, bones or joints of the spine are positioned incorrectly or are not moving correctly. Chiropractors specialize in the treatment of subluxation.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and Sciatica are times when nerves actually do become ‘pinched.’ Tunnel Syndrome is a condition where inflammation, injury, or spasm of the surrounding muscles and connective tissue causes compression of nerves, which results in pain. Tunnel Syndrome is much more complex to treat than a simple spinal subluxation. However, both respond well to chiropractic care, especially when done with light stretches, light exercises and physical therapy.
Tight “knots” of muscles that form when they are chronically overworked or injured refers to trigger points. Trigger points are usually experienced as a burning or pinching pain. Trigger points will often cause pain that will diffuse to other parts of the body, also known as referred pain. Chiropractic care, stretching and deep tissue massage known as ‘trigger point therapy,’ is usually required for successful treatment of trigger points.
Remember that the cause of any form of pain needs to be properly diagnosed and treated. This is important especially when long-term irritation or compression affects the nerves. When this happens, permanent nerve damage could be caused. It is extremely important to receive professional care and contact a chiropractor to help prevent permanent damage.