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Can a Chiropractor Help with a Pinched Nerve?

Updated: May 30



Are you suffering from a pinched nerve and wondering whether a chiropractor can assist you? Chiropractors are trained to handle various nerve-related conditions, which means they can absolutely help with a pinched nerve. They can use techniques like spinal adjustments, therapeutic massage, and tailored exercises that target the precise location of your discomfort. They can also offer guidance on maintaining proper posture to help you avoid similar issues in the future. By focusing on the source of the nerve compression, a chiropractor can alleviate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.


What Is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure from surrounding tissues compresses a nerve. This pressure can come from cartilage, bones, muscles, or tendons. When a nerve gets squeezed in this way, it can’t function properly. This can result in uncomfortable sensations like pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the area surrounding the nerve.


Where Do Pinched Nerves Occur in the Body?

Pinched nerves can occur at many locations in the body where nerves pass run through narrow spaces and don’t have much soft tissue to protect them. The most common areas include:

  • The Neck: Pinched nerves in the neck often result from stiff muscles or bulging discs pressing on the nerve roots that extend from the spinal cord. This can cause pain radiating down the arm and sometimes even as far as the hand.

  • The Back: The lower back is another common site for pinched nerves. Here, the nerves that branch out from the spine can get compressed by herniated discs or overgrown bone. This can result in pain that shoots down the leg, commonly known as sciatica.

  • The Wrist: Pinched nerves in the wrist are the root cause of a common condition called carpal tunnel syndrome. This occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, gets squeezed at the wrist, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers.


Signs and Symptoms of Pinched Nerves

When a nerve becomes pinched, it can lead to numerous uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms can affect different body parts depending on where the pinched nerve is. Here are the signs and symptoms to look for if you think you might have a pinched nerve:

  • Sharp pain

  • Radiating pain

  • Burning pain

  • Numbness

  • Tingling or “pins and needles” sensations

  • Muscle weakness

  • Pain that worsens at night

  • Pain that worsens with specific movements

  • Increased sensitivity to touch

  • Decreased sensation in the affected area

  • Muscle atrophy

  • Muscle twitching

  • Headaches

  • Difficulty gripping objects

  • Changes in reflexes


How a Pinched Nerve Can Affect Your Life

A pinched nerve can provoke pain and discomfort that interfere with every aspect of your daily life. You might find it challenging to sit for long periods or perform tasks that require repetitive motions. This can affect your ability to work, especially if your job comprises physical labor or sitting at a desk all day.


The pain and numbness from a pinched nerve can also disrupt your sleep, making it hard to get a good night’s rest. Insufficient sleep can lead to daytime fatigue, lower your mood, and decrease energy levels.


Activities you once enjoyed, like sports or playing musical instruments, might become difficult or painful when you have a pinched nerve. This can reduce your quality of life and lead to frustration or depression resulting from the inability to participate in hobbies you love.


Stretches for Pinched Nerves

If you’re dealing with a pinched nerve, there are specific stretches you can do at home to relieve the pressure and ease your symptoms. Here are some effective stretches for pinched nerves:

  • Neck Tilts: Slowly tilt your head towards your shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Repeat on both sides. This stretch can alleviate tension in the neck, where nerves often get pinched.

  • Cat-Cow Pose: Find a comfortable position on your hands and knees. Arch your back toward the ceiling, tucking your chin towards your chest. Then, slowly let your back sag toward the floor while lifting your head and tailbone upward. This increases flexibility and eases spinal tension.

  • Shoulder Rolls: Stand or sit up straight with your arms at your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders forward in a circular motion, making big, deliberate circles. This reduces the buildup of tension around the neck and upper back.

  • Wrist Flexor Stretch: Extend your arm with your palm down and gently pull back on your fingertips with your other hand. This can relieve the pressure from pinched nerves in the wrist.

  • Lower Back Stretch: Lie on your back and gently pull one knee to your chest. Hold it, then switch to the other knee. This stretch can ease compression in your lower back.


How a Chiropractor Can Help You with a Pinched Nerve


If at-home remedies like stretching or over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pinched nerve symptoms, a chiropractor can help. Chiropractors specialize in treating nerve issues along the spine and other areas where pinched nerves occur.


When you visit a chiropractor, they will conduct a thorough examination to pinpoint the location and cause of your pinched nerve. This might include a physical examination and possibly imaging tests like X-rays. With this information, they can apply targeted treatments to address your condition.


One common technique is spinal manipulation, also known as an adjustment. Your chiropractor can apply controlled force to realign the vertebrae in your spine. This can reduce pressure on the nerves in the neck or back and immediately relieve pain.


Chiropractors can use other manual therapy techniques for pinched nerves outside the spine. These might include adjustments to other joints contributing to nerve compression or soft tissue therapies to reduce tension and inflammation in the tissues surrounding the nerve.


Besides adjustments, chiropractors might also use other therapies, such as massage or ultrasound, to relax muscles and decrease inflammation around the nerve. They might also suggest personalized exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, which can prevent future nerve compression.


Pinched Nerve Chiropractic Care in Boulder, Colorado

Are you experiencing discomfort from a pinched nerve? Our pinched nerve chiropractors can create a pinched nerve treatment plan specialized for your long term healing process.


Connect with MUV Chiropractic & Yoga in Boulder, Colorado, and experience the difference our tailored care strategies can make. Don’t let nerve pain hold you back any longer and treat a pinched nerve. At the first sign of a pinched nerve, call us or visit our website to schedule your appointment and start your journey to recovery.


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"I’m so grateful for my experience at Muv Chiropractic. I came to them with lower back pain and frustration around my reoccurring shin splints. Not only did they solve my problem, they taught me practical solutions to implement in my life long term.
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