Neck pain? Pinched Nerve Possibly?! When to Visit a Chiropractor for Relief!

As we passed the holiday season and are now more than halfway through January, the terrible cold is here for Chicagoans.  Despite this, Chicagoans and fellow Lincoln Park residents are remaining active, hopefully adhering to objectives set in 2023 for one’s health or establishing new goals now in 2024.  As we settle in to the longest stretch of the winter, it is important to stay vigilant and committed to achieving your health goals.  As Chicagoans continue to work from home or establish a more permanent in-office/remote work schedule, avoiding neck pain is something that can occur quite easily due to poor posture.  From there, other elements such as how you sleep (sleeping on your stomach), your exercise regimen (in the form of both what and how you are performing these movements), and your daily activities that can contribute to what feels like pain, is actually far worse in the form of a compressed/pinched nerve in your neck.  This post will detail symptoms/signs of a pinched nerve and when to visit a chiropractor.

Woman suffering from nerve and muscle pain in neck and shoulder radiating down arm

When pain begins in your neck, and it starts to move, it is important to be aware of the following symptoms.  If one truly has a pinched nerve, it is important to determine if the cause of the injury is coming from the neck (central) or peripheral (outside of the neck meaning upper back, shoulder, arm).  Pain that radiates, or shoots into your upper back, shoulder, and arm may be a pinched nerve, but one usually may also feel numbness, tingling, burning (or any of these), and/or pins and needles sensations in your arm, forearm, hand, and/or fingers in a specific line (meaning you can draw exactly where the pain is going).  Additionally, weakness in one’s muscles on that side usually occurs causing a loss of strength with tightness, soreness, stiffness, and achy symptoms in your neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm.  The most challenging part of all of this, is that you may experience many of these symptoms, or only a few of the ones described above.  Often, your daily activities (sleeping, job, exercise, other household chores) may become affected as your symptoms intensify.  The importance of visiting a chiropractor soon after suffering these symptoms will help determine the cause of your pain, but also, how quickly you can minimize your need to miss activities you enjoy.

Chiropractor treating patient neck and backA sports chiropractor more specifically, can address this as a thorough consultation will be taken to understand the history, and reveal the possible cause of your pinched nerve.  Moreover, a subsequent exam will check your sensation from 1 side to the other, reflexes, tests to attempt to reproduce your pain, and muscle strength testing to learn, understand your symptoms, and to provide the best possible care to treat your injury safely and effectively.  Furthermore, X-rays may be taken (case-by-case basis) to rule out any structural abnormalities that may also contribute to your pinched nerve.  The sooner you begin to experience these symptoms and visit a sports chiropractor, the likelihood you will begin to see results faster.  Your chiropractor should go over a plan of care outlining what he/she plans to do from a treatment standpoint, goals to achieve, and the time it may possibly take to help your injuries at the conclusion of your visit (some chiropractors may do this on your second visit, but will treat on this visit; others do this on your initial visit depending on your pain/suffering). Once you feel ready to move forward, it is important to realize that the longer you waited to address this, the longer it will likely take to heal.  Timing is such a crucial part for a pinched nerve as they happen most consistently due to overuse of one’s neck and upper back from repetitive habits and behaviors (it can transpire from trauma, but this is atypical). Chiropractors treat this well compared to medical doctors because MD’s can only prescribe pain medicine for your symptoms and not actually get rid of the problem.

Recognizing these symptoms and taking the necessary steps to treat your pinched nerve and neck pain will allow you to resume exercising (if you had to stop), to feel better, and to avoid having to miss more time from the things you love. Stay warm and protect your neck!

Brian Marion, DC, CCSP, ART, SFMA, CKTP

Lincoln Park Chiropractic 2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1 Chicago, IL 60614

(773) 248-2790

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