Pinched nerves are, quite literally, a pain! Whether they are located in the neck, shoulder, arm, back, or knees, pinched nerves hurt like the dickens and often come with other symptoms, such as numbness.
Who wants to have surgery to repair a pinched nerve? Exactly! No one! Most people don’t need surgery but by taking steps now, you can probably find relief from that pinched nerve sooner than you think!
What is a Pinched Nerve?
You might be imagining some little gnome or elf running through your body literally pinching a nerve here and there just to annoy you. While that’s a cute idea, your nerves aren’t actually being pinched, but they are being compressed.
The extra pressure placed on or around the nerve causes painful sensations, such as:
- Sharp, stabbing pain
- Pins and needles
Sometimes, real problems are dismissed as being a “pinched nerve”, which is why you should always receive a proper diagnosis from a chiropractor.
Do Pinched Nerves Go Away on Their Own?
Yes, they certainly can. If your pain has recently started or isn’t too severe, you can try a variety of home remedies and see if the pain will subside on its own.
How Long Does It Take for a Pinched Nerve to Heal?
This will depend on the reason why the nerve is feeling irritation.
Some pinched nerves are from poor posture or tight muscles. These can heal quickly, usually within 4 weeks.
However, if you have ignored the pain for some time (more than 3 months) it can take far longer, especially if the root cause of the pain isn’t being addressed.
Should I Go to the ER for a Pinched Nerve?
You could and if you are having certain symptoms, you should, but you are probably better off trying some home remedies first, then chiropractic care before you resort to spending hours at the ER.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should hit up the ER:
- You experience a sudden weakness in an arm or leg
- You are having significant numbness (an entire leg, for example)
- Your pain has dramatically increased despite your efforts
- Affects your bowel or bladder
In many cases, following some self-care and home remedies, your problem should resolve itself in a few weeks.
5 Unconventional Ways to Deal with Pinched Nerves
Unconventional Remedy #1 – Chiropractic Massage
While most people never think about massage for a pinched nerve, when they do, people ask “Chiropractor or massage?” We say, why choose?! These two types of therapy are the perfect complement to one another.
The best chiropractors understand the importance of massage when it comes to healing and stress relief. Some cases of pinched nerves are due to tight muscles and muscle spasms. Massage therapy addresses those issues perfectly!
Not only can you experience the healing benefits of massage, but when you have one performed at your chiropractor’s office, you get the benefits of adjustments (if needed) and the expert advice of the chiropractor, who can direct the massage therapist to problem areas or areas to be avoided.
In fact, if your pinched nerve is causing sciatica, studies show that massage therapy not only offered pain relief, but less depression and anxiety as well.
Can a chiropractor fix a pinched sciatic nerve? With adjustments, massage therapy, and other modalities, you can find relief from this pain safely and quickly!
In fact, comprehensive chiropractic care has been proven to be the best and fastest way to deal with pinched nerves! Why live with the pain and waiting for a pinched nerve to heal when chiropractic care is readily available?
Unconventional Remedy #2 – Get Your Z’s
You won’t hear many people say that what you need to do is couch surf and we aren’t exactly suggesting that either but getting in a bit more sleep can allow your body the time it needs to heal itself.
Whenever the body is stressed and needs repair, getting extra sleep allows the body time to heal. An extra hour of sleep also ensures that the injured area receives less movement.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach and be sure that your pillow is providing you with plenty of support, then feel free to catch an extra hour of snooze time.
Unconventional Remedy #3 – Think Hot Tubs
If you have been icing your neck for days and the pain from that pinched nerve just won’t go away, it’s time to warm things up.
Icing can really help to lower swelling and inflammation but if icing hasn’t relieved your pain after 72 hours, chances are that it isn’t going to. Time to think warm thoughts, such as bath tubs, Jacuzzi’s, or hot tubs.
Warm water increases blood circulation, which will bring some much-needed oxygen and nutrients that will heal and restore the body. Heat relaxes the muscles of the body, which can relieve pressure on the affected area.
Hot tubs and Jacuzzi’s make us feel good, too! There is nothing wrong with feeling good when a pinched nerve is dragging you down!
Unconventional Remedy #4 – Think Collagen Repair
You might think that collagen only has to do with the skin, but collagen adds cushions to the spaces between the joints and bones, while repairing damaged tissues. When you realize that collagen is the most plentiful natural protein in the human body, it’s easy to understand why this is important.
Supplements that have glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and some amino acids are always helpful, as is consuming bone broth, which is a good source of collagen.
You should also be consuming an anti-inflammatory diet. Inflammation causes pain. Lowering inflammation levels means lowering pain as well. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic sources of protein and skip the sugar, soda, and processed foods.
Unconventional Remedy #5 – Posture Perfect
Unfortunately, when we slouch and have bad posture, whether sitting or standing, we put a lot of pressure on the joints. When this continues for long periods of time or when something traumatic occurs, a pinched nerve can be the result.
Your chiropractor can help restore your natural, beautiful posture. If you are unsure as to whether your posture is a problem, a chiropractor should be willing to discuss this with you and show you what proper posture should be.
Of course, this won’t fix your pain immediately, but it can prevent that pinched nerve from making a sequel!
Once the location of the pinched nerve has been discovered, the typical treatment doctors follow would include:
- Over the counter pain relievers that cause gastric bleeding
- Prescription pain relievers for more severe cases, which can lead to addiction
- Corticosteroids, usually through injections
- Microdiscectomy spinal surgery
- Regular surgery
If you are hoping to avoid the above conventional treatments, we understand! Your body has a tremendous ability to heal itself, once it is given the tools it needs to do so.
Now that you know what to do, you should also read this to find out what NOT to do!
Seeing a chiropractor can greatly reduce the amount of time, not to mention pain, that is required to heal a pinched nerve. Chiropractors are holistic, meaning that they treat the entire body, not just the symptoms. Once your chiropractor has set up a treatment plan, your recovery is virtually in the bag!
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At Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab, we would like to encourage anyone who is suffering from a pinched nerve to call us for a same-day appointment. We have 4 locations to serve you and we will be more than happy to check your insurance coverage. You can also click here for an online appointment.