Have you been told you have a Pinched Nerve in the Neck? Or, do you just feel like you have one? What is a pinched nerve anyway?
Well, a pinched nerve in the neck is a term used to describe the pressure or trapping of a cervical nerve root mostly from a bulging or herniated cervical disc. Degenerative disc disease, vertebral subluxatons, and facet syndrome can also cause pinched nerves.
Nerves are very delicate and sensitive to any kind of pressure. Famous research studies from the University of Colorado demonstrated that just the weight of a pencil erasure on a nerve can interfere with the transmission of the nerve impulse by 60%.
When nerves become irritated it can cause severe pain and dysfunction. The nerves that exit from the bones in the neck travel down the arm and into the hand. When these nerves become pinched, stretched or irritated it can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, arm pain, and hand pain. Now this does not mean if you have a pinched nerve you will have all these symptoms, heck you might not have any symptoms at first…these are just some of the symptoms that can present from nerve pressure in the neck.
You may also experience numbness and tingling in the arms or hands, weakness of grip, night pain, and swelling in the hands and fingers. Some patients even get headaches.
The symptoms in the hand can mimic those of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). In fact, you can have a herniated or bulging disc in the neck and be experiencing the signs and symptoms of CTS without any neck pain at all. This can lead to a misdiagnoses and unfortunately, unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery.
A chiropractor or orthopedic doctor that specializes in the neck, arms, and hands is your best bet for pinched nerve treatment. They will most likely order cervical x-rays and a cervical MRI…maybe even a nerve conduction test of the upper extremities.
Once a determination and diagnosis is made of the underlying condition, most likely a herniated disc in the neck, then treatment will commence.
Chiropractic care is probably what we would recommend first as it is very safe, gentle and effective. If chiropractic fails to deliver results we can try nonsurgical cervical decompression with the DRX9000c, a machine designed and built to treat pinched nerves resulting from herniated and bulging discs. We would not recommend rushing into neck surgery unless it is an emergency (most are not). If chiropractic and spinal decompression fail to deliver a favorable outcome you are still whole and can pursue other treatment options, including surgery.
To find out if you are a candidate for care at our San Francisco Spinal Decompression Center please call 415-392-2225 and ask for a complimentary consultation.