Common Symptoms of Nerve Pressure

Sciatica

Have you heard this phrase before from a co-worker or family member?  “My sciatic is acting up.”  They are most likely trying to describe the painful feeling they may be experiencing in their low back area.  This also could be accompanied with radiating pain down one or both legs and can sometimes travel all the way to the feet!  The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in your body and it is composed of nerve roots from many different areas in your low back.  A lower back vertabra, hip joint or even your tail bone becoming “stuck” can cause your sciatic nerve to become inflamed, painful, and uncomfortable.  The Gonstead Technique uses a detailed exam and x-ray to determine the exact cause that could be contributing to your sciatica.  This in turn will allow the doctor to quickly diagnose the problem and get you the treatment that you need!

Migraines/Headaches

You may know this already or it may be the first time you are reading it, but Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to have a great benefit for patients that are experiencing migraine headaches or tension headaches.  There are many research articles that show the benefits that Chiropractic has on neck pain, migraines and tension headaches.  The Gonstead Technique is able to pin point the exact area in the spine that is causing the nerve pressure with the use of the Nervoscope and a thorough exam and health history.  By doing this, we can tell exactly if a person’s headaches can be related to nerve pressure or not.  If no nerve pressure is found and an adjustment is not indicated, we are able to refer you for the type of evaluation/treatment that will help you the most to another health professional in the area.

Pediatric Conditions: Colic, Ear Infections, Bed Wetting, etc.

Does your child get a lot of ear infections? If so, a spinal checkup may be an important consideration. Not all ear infections may be associated with a spinal joint problem, but if they are a common occurrence for your child, finding out why they may be happening is of value.  Sometimes nerve pressure from joint problems in the upper neck can be the cause, and chiropractic can help. The Eustachian tube is a tunnel that runs from the inner ear down to the throat… This tunnel allows for waste material that builds up in the inner ear to be drained out. If this waste cannot be cleared from the inner ear, susceptibility for inner ear infection occurs.

In adults, the Eustachian tube is more vertical (up and down) in position, so gravity alone can help it drain fluid effectively… But in a child, the Eustachian tube is more horizontal, and the drainage is more dependent on contraction of a small muscle that surrounds the tube… This muscle is controlled by nerves that come from the upper neck.  When these nerves are irritated by joint problems in the neck, the small muscle and the Eustachian tube don’t drain inner ear waste effectively and susceptibility for infection arises. If your child gets frequent ear infections, have them get their spine checked!

This not only goes for chronic ear infections, but just getting your child checked up regularly can help your child develop healthy spinal habits at a young age that can help prolong their spinal health over their entire life!

Pregnancy

Chiropractic has numerous benefits to women who are in all stages of pregnancy.  The Gonstead technique, with its specificity in finding subluxations and its ability to reduce nerve pressure in less amounts of time, can play a key role in having a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy!  During the first trimester, adjustments can greatly aid issues with morning sickness or at least help to minimize the effects by letting the body work in a more normal way.  Low back pain is a big complaint as pregnancy progresses as well, especially in the third trimester.  The changes that are going on in the uterus as the baby grows can put a lot of stress on the low back vertebrae and cause them to become locked up.  As you can see, having periodic checkups throughout the entire pregnancy can be an immense benefit to both mother and child.  With the nervous system working at its optimum level, and the body’s mechanical components working like they are supposed to, women who have undergone regular chiropractic care during pregnancy have been shown to have shorter labor time and have a lower chance of having some sort of complication during the birthing process.

Scoliosis

A lot of patients come in to our offices and say they have been diagnosed with “scoliosis” by another healthcare professional.  There are times when scoliosis is the result of more serious, pathological problems that chiropractic may not be able to help correct.  Scoliosis can be the result of long standing “stuck” spinal joints.  The body will compensate by rotating/moving the other vertebrae to a position where they can help pick up the slack for the one that is stuck.  This allows you to continue to move and do normal activities without many problems.  Over time, if left uncorrected, the scoliosis becomes more permanent.  If scoliosis is caught at a young age and those stuck spinal joints are fixed, there is a good chance that the child or young adult will “grow out” of the condition.  This is why it is so important to have children under regular chiropractic care.  In the Gonstead Technique, a full spine x-ray is taken before any chiropractic adjustments are given.  We take the time to look at this x-ray, compare it with our thorough examination and come up with a plan that is best suited for each patient.  When it comes to scoliosis, a chiropractic plane of care that works for one person may not be the best for someone else.  There are no “cookie cutter” plans in the Gonstead Technique, each patient has an individualized plan that is developed by the doctor.

Whiplash

Most people have heard the common term “whiplash,” but what does it actually mean in relation to your spinal health?  The mechanism of whiplash most commonly happens in a rear end car accident.  The person’s neck jolts forward and the body stiffens up to help protect the spine and spinal cord.  This type of trauma can very easily create some serious problems with the spinal joints of the neck.  If there are no immediate medical emergencies, a visit to the chiropractor should be at the top of the person’s list.  The problems created from a whiplash accident are much easier to correct the closer the chiropractic exam is to the actual event.  Serious problems like degenerative disc disease, bone spurring, and reversed cervical curve can be attributed to old whiplash injuries that went untreated.  DO yourself a favor, if you or a family member/friend has experienced this injury, a chiropractic exam at one of our offices may be able to help immensely when it comes to restoring stability after a whiplash incident.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Many patients in our office come in with a variety of complaints usually having something to do with neck and back pain. Quite often while taking a history of their health and going over their problems that brought them to our office they will mention that they also suffer with Carpal Tunnel. There is a misconception that this condition is entirely composed of issues within the wrist and that surgery is usually the only option.

The wrist is a definite component to the overall condition known as carpal tunnel, but there are a variety of other issues that when combined with inflammation within the wrist create carpal tunnel. The main nerve involved in carpal tunnel, the median nerve, has its roots within the cervical and thoracic spine(lower neck and upper back). These nerves roots start here and then travel down through the shoulder into the arm, passing through the wrist, ending in the thumb and first three fingers.  Most patients that suffer with carpal tunnel will also have nerve impingement on nerves in the neck and upper back, and if that pressure can be relieved with a chiropractic adjustment, quite often the numbness and pain associated with carpal tunnels can be alleviated.

As doctors of chiropractic we are also trained to educate you on how best to treat these symptoms at home with recommendations on changes in the workplace environment, therapeutic stretching, exercises, and even in braces to wear when needed. Surgery is not the only answer to fixing this common syndrome and as doctors of chiropractic we are prepared to help you deal with it. If you or anyone you know suffers with carpal tunnel, a visit to Gonstead Family Chiropractic may be what is needed.

Sports Injuries

What do Jerry Rice, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Usain Bolt all have in common?  Is it their dominance of their respective sports?  Is it their iconic status in the world sports arena?  How about this:  Each of these athletes utilizes or utilized chiropractic treatments during their careers to maintain an elite level of performance.  Most people associate chiropractic as “fixing” or “curing” oneself of some type of problem.  In actuality, Chiropractic, specifically the Gonstead Technique, allows the body to work the way it is supposed to.  This allows the body to train harder, build muscle better, and allow ligaments to withstand the pressure and strain of sports activities.  Chiropractic care is an integral part of sports injury rehabilitation, just as physical therapy and strength training are.  Relieving nerve pressure from the spine allows the body to work the way that it is supposed to which can help in speeding up the rehabilitation/healing process.  Regular chiropractic care through sports seasons and off-seasons can even help prevent freak sports injuries from happening.  If chiropractic is part of these and many other athletes training regimens; shouldn’t it be a part of yours or your children’s?

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, as defined by The Mayo Clinic, is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.

Healthcare Professionals will sometimes characterize it as “overactive nerves.”  Let’s look at the possible symptoms of a Vertebral Subluxation:  musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, numbness/tingling, decreased range of motion and decreased sensation just to name a few.  Seems to be some things that line up between those two definitions, doesn’t it?  Vertebral Subluxations can cause spinal nerves to not work the way they are supposed to, which can block nerve impulses to the body. Nerve pressure can also cause the nerves to be hyperactive, which causes the nerve to fire more than it should.  Sounds like an “overactive nerve!”  Chiropractic adjustments restore nerve to normal function.  Sometimes a patient may have fibromyalgia-like symptoms that are actually being produced my nerve pressure.  Utilizing the Gonstead Technique, we can at least rule out whether a patient has nerve pressure and whether it may be contributing to fibromyalgia-like symptoms through a precise analysis to help paint a clearer picture of what might be going on.

Numbness/Tingling

Numbness and tingling in an extremity or an area of the spine is often times indicative of nerve pressure.  When a vertebra or multiple vertebrae become stuck, it irritates one or both nerve roots that come out of that spinal joint.  If the inflammation and pressure caused from that joint being stuck is significant enough, it can produce sensations that “radiate” or “travel” down all the nerves that that nerve root supplies.  This numbness or tingling is the body’s way of saying “Hey!  Something is not right!”  Think of it like this:  If you’re watering your garden and all of a sudden the water stops flowing from the hose, the first thing you do is follow the hose to the source of water to see if there are any kinks, once the hose in unkinked, water flow returns to normal.  Your nerves act the same way, when that spinal nerve becomes “kinked” and stops the “flow” of nerve impulses, your body tries to tell you to investigate!  There are times when numbness/tingling is associated with more serious problems, but if you are experiencing these types of symptoms in your body, nerve pressure should be the first thing that is relieved or ruled out before more invasive procedures like shots and surgeries are recommended.