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Pinched Nerves

Anatomy of a pinched nerve

examining a spine modelTo understand what a “pinched nerve” is we first need a little basic anatomy. Your spinal column contains 24 movable segments called vertebrae. Between each pair of vertabra lie cushioning ligaments called of spinal disks. Put together, this bony conduit of vertebrae and disks protects and houses your spinal cord.

Yogis have for thousands of years referred to the spinal cord as “the river of life”, we call it the central nervous system.

Delicate nerve roots emerge from the spinal cord exiting through bony ports (holes) between each pair of adjacent spinal bones and go to all the cells of the body. At the same time, the body is sending messages back to the spinal cord and brain. The integrity, flexibility, and adaptability of the entire spin is paramount to enjoying normal function, health and ongoing well being.

When adjacent structures loose alignment with each other nerves can get pinched! This effects the passage of nerve impulses (messages to and from the brain), and symptoms will ensue either immediately or some time later.

Common places for pinched nerves

Quite often in my practice a patient will present and say “I have a pinched nerve in my neck Doc. It pinches and hurts when I turn or nod my head”. The pain can range from mild to severe and can be debilitating interfering with normal activities and in particular sleep. Pinched nerves can appear anywhere in the body but typically refer to an extremity E.G. an arm or leg, even lower backs and necks. The typical symptom is a sharp catching pain on certain movement.

A carpal tunnel syndrome is indeed another form of pinched nerve, and should be checked out by your Chiropractor before submitting to carpal tunnel surgery. We can help with pinched nerves: Over the years I have observed pinched nerves in many people, in fact, more than half my practice life has been occupied with successfully treating this condition.

Chiropractors are well versed in mobilising spinal segments and other soft tissue structures using gentle and specific, and above all safe, specialised techniques. When soft tissue, muscles and ligaments are the offending source of pinching we may ask our remedial massage therapist to assist with her expert hands to release the soft tissue tension and stress, and effect a better outcome.
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