What Can a Pinched Nerve Lead to if Not Treated?

Mar 1, 2021

What Can a Pinched Nerve Lead to if Not TreatedEveryone knows the feeling of your foot ‘falling asleep’ and then the ‘pins and needles’ that follow when you try to move. This is a very mild example of a pinched nerve that resolves on its own after you move around and your nerve is no longer compressed. There are times when a pinched nerve doesn’t go away on its own and those tingling and ‘pins and needles’ feelings end up lasting for a long time. While you might be tempted to wait for these symptoms to go away, you can actually experience nerve damage if a compressed or pinched nerve is not treated. If you think you are experiencing a pinched nerve that won’t go away then you should reach out to a chiropractor in Marietta for treatment that will last.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve occurs when too much pressure is put on a nerve by a bone, joint, muscle, spinal disc, or other soft tissue. An optimal functioning nerve will send and receive signals throughout the body, like telling a specific muscle to move or to feel pain. When a nerve is pinched or compressed it can disrupt these messages or send the wrong signals. Because nerves send messages throughout the body, a pinched nerve may occur in your neck but you might experience symptoms in your back and shoulder. Pinched nerves can cause symptoms like numbness and tingling, pain, muscle spasms, and even temporary limited range of motion.

What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

Pinched nerves can be caused by a number of injuries that affect your spine or your nervous system. Car accident injuries like whiplash are commonly associated with pinched nerves because the neck muscles are strained out of their normal range of motion, which can lead to inflammation and compression of nearby nerves. Similarly, neck and back sprains can occur from a car accident or other type of injury and can cause spinal misalignments or inflammation. In order to treat a pinched nerve, it helps to identify the cause. When a pinched nerve is left untreated, that means the root cause is left untreated too. Anything that causes pain and is left untreated for too long can run the risk of developing into chronic pain and discomfort.

Here are two examples of what a pinched nerve can lead to if left untreated:

Peripheral Neuropathy

Nerves that are outside of the brain and spinal cord are called peripheral nerves and when these are damaged it is called peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is commonly associated with diabetes, though it can also occur from injuries and infections. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy like numbness, weakness, and pain in the hands and feet are most common, though it is possible to affect other areas of your body. Peripheral nerves send messages about sensory information through the body, so when they are damaged it can lead to extreme sensitivity to touch and cause stabbing, throbbing, or even burning pain.

Disc Degeneration

The discs that separate each vertebra in your spine help to cushion and also absorb shock during your daily movements and help keep your spine flexible. When these discs start to break down, also known as disc degeneration, they can lose their sponge-like quality and flexibility. These discs naturally break down over time, but if they become more worn-out earlier, they can dry out or crack. As these discs break down, they can slip out of place and put pressure on nearby nerves, causing pinched nerves. Over time, these pinched nerves can develop into nerve damage.

Treatment for a Pinched Nerve

Marietta Chiropractic treatment for pinched nerves use safe, gentle adjustments that help restore alignment in the spine, or use other techniques like therapeutic massage to help reduce inflammation. They may also recommend additional at-home treatments that can help with symptoms like muscle spasms and pain. To find out how your chiropractor would treat your pinched nerve, visit AICA Orthopedics in Marietta. AICA Orthopedics has chiropractors in Marietta to help address a number of diseases and injuries to the spine and nervous system and help you experience lasting relief from a pinched nerve.