The pain of a pinched nerve is a pretty distinct one. After all, your nerves are the pain receptors that tell your brain when something isn’t right. And when a nerve is getting squashed by something, well, that nerve lets you know. The next question is what to do when that happens. Unlike many other ailments, medication isn’t going to do much to help. Pain medication will help on a temporary basis, but it’s generally not enough to actually fix the underlying issue causing you pain.
Finding Relief Naturally
A pinched nerve occurs when something presses on, or pinches, a nerve. The pressure can come from a joint that is misaligned and pressing where it shouldn’t, or it could come from tight muscles and tendons that constrict over a nerve. The pressure disrupts the nerve’s usual functioning, which is what causes the sensations of pain, numbness, and/or tingling you feel. A common example of a pinched nerve is one that most of us know: carpal tunnel syndrome.
Depending on the cause and the location, some pinched nerves can go away with a few days to a few weeks of downtime. If rest isn’t enough, the good news is that there are other options to treat that pain and help your body heal without jumping straight to surgery. Two of the primary options are chiropractic care and massage therapy.
Choosing Treatment Options
The best method of treatment will depend on where your pinched nerve is and what is doing the pinching. For example, if you’re experiencing sciatica, which is a pinched nerve (the sciatic nerve) in your low back, the root cause is generally a bulging disc. In that case, chiropractic care may be the better option to help the spine come back to proper alignment and ease the pressure on the spinal disc. However, if the reason for the misalignment was a tight muscle pressing against the spine, massage therapy would help relieve that tightness and reduce the pressure put on the spine. In the instance of a pinched nerve in your wrist, chiropractic care may not be as beneficial. Massage therapy, on the other hand, can help relax the muscles and tendons in your arm to relieve the pressure on the nerve causing pain.
The good news here is that massage and chiropractic care are mutually beneficial treatment options. And, since they aren’t invasive, like surgery, there is a lot more flexibility when it comes to combining the two types of care. Your chiropractor or massage therapist may suggest the other treatment option to further reduce pain and aid in healing. It all depends on your body and what is causing your pinched nerve.
In general, massage therapy can be a good way to help a pinched nerve because massage techniques work to relax muscles and other soft tissue that might press into nerves or cause other internal features to press into the nerve. However, each body and every issue is different, so it’s a good idea to discuss any injuries or pain with your massage therapist before your session.
If you have questions, the massage and chiropractic team at Core Chiropractic + Wellness can help. Give us a call or come by our Bakersfield office today.