If you have been experiencing numbness or tingling in your extremities (arms, legs, hands, or feet), you most likely have a pinched nerve. This is a very painful condition that can cause everyday tasks and activities to be hindered.
What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve becomes irritated or compressed due to injury, poor posture, or muscle strain. Anyone can experience this condition regardless of age but it is more
common in older adults due to arthritis or degeneration of the spine.
If a nerve is pinched temporarily it is unlikely that it will cause permanent damage and once the pressure is relieved the nerve function returns to normal. In cases of prolonged compression however, permanent damage can occur causing chronic pain in the area.
Signs and Symptoms
If you are unsure if you are experience a pinched nerve, there are a five different signs to watch out for that may indicate you are dealing with this condition that include:
- Tingling or pins and needles- when sensory nerves are compressed it blocks the signals to the brain that communicate feelings causing a tingling sensation.
- Numbness- when there is added pressure to the nerve, it restricts blood flow hindering its ability to fire properly.
- Sharp, burning, or aching pain- if there is inflammation near the nerve it can cause compression or if the nerve itself is inflamed it will result in pain to alert you that there is something wrong in that area.
- Muscle weakness- motor nerves carry messages from the brain to the muscles, when one of these nerves is pinched, weakness is a sign that the nerve is unable to communicate to the muscle the proper way to function.
- Hands or feet fall asleep often- as you sit a certain way or rest your arm in a specific position you may notice this happens but when you move, the sensation goes away, this means you have temporarily pinched a nerve. If this happens without cause or warning you may have a more serious compression that needs to be addressed.
In the instance that you believe you are experiencing a pinched nerve that has persisted for a continuous period of time you will want to consult a medical professional. You may find that chiropractic care can alleviate the pain with a non-invasive approach that heals the nerves at the source of the compression for long last relief.