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A nerve injury is often caused by a sudden traumatic event, like a slip and fall, a personal or work injury, an automobile accident, or a sports injury. Overall stresses of the body from poor posture and being overweight can also lead to nerve pain over time, known as cumulative trauma. When ligaments and bones are not aligned correctly, nerve pain and damage can occur. When nerve pain presents, there is pressure being placed on that nerve/s. Nerve pain symptoms include burning, tingling, or numbness-type sensations in the tissues controlled by that nerve. Orthopedic and neurologic testing will determine what specific nerve is affected. Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine and relieve the pressure on the nerve, thus eliminating the pain and correcting the problem.

Nerve Injury

Too much pressure from surrounding tissues compresses and irritates the nerve and interrupts its ability to function correctly. Pinched nerves are most vulnerable at points in the body where they pass through narrow spaces and have little to no soft tissue protection. Symptoms include:

  • Pins and Needles Sensation
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Weakness

A pinched nerve can decrease the range of motion and cause muscle spasms. If left untreated, a nerve injury can leave an individual with chronic pain and lead to permanent nerve damage.

Tingling and Numbness

Tingling and numbness are unusual or unpleasant physical sensations, most commonly experienced in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. Tingling and numbness come in two forms:

Paresthesia

  • A feeling of pins and needles on the skin or the sensation of the hand or arm falling asleep.
  • Paresthesia can be a result of reduced blood flow to the region. This can be caused by external pressure that constricts the blood vessels.

Dysesthesia

  • This is a more persistent sensation resembling itching, burning, electric shock, or tightening pain.

 Injuries to the nervous system can also produce numbness and tingling, even in areas nowhere near the actual injury. Examples include:

  • Neck pain from a neck injury can cause numbness or tingling in the hand or arm.
  • A low back injury can result in tingling in the back of the leg.

Other possible causes include:

  • Inflammation that puts pressure on nerves
  • Trigger points in the muscles
  • Enlarged blood vessels
  • Tumors
  • Myofascial adhesions
  • Scar tissue
  • Infection
  • Lesions on the spinal disc/s
  • Diabetes
  • Calcium deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse

Chiropractic Treatment

To determine the appropriate course of treatment, a doctor of chiropractic must diagnose the cause of the nerve injury. Depending on the nature or severity of the sensation, the examination will include:

  • Muscle tests
  • Range-of-motion tests
  • Neurological tests
  • Orthopedic tests

The chiropractor will palpate the effective areas and order imaging tests like X-rays if necessary. If further testing is needed to diagnose the source of the nerve injury, the doctor may order an MRI or CT scan. Once the underlying condition is diagnosed, a chiropractor will develop a treatment plan to eliminate irritation, correct misalignments causing pressure, and restore proper nerve function. Treatment plans vary from case to case but can include:

  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Body adjustments
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Heat and Ice

The objective is to relieve/release the pressure on the nerves. Chiropractic adjustments help reposition the muscles and nerves. Deep-tissue massage helps to release tension and eliminate toxins that worsen the sensations. Treatment improves circulation and relieves pressure on the neural pathways necessary to restore normal neural signaling between the body and the brain.


Body Composition


Why The Brain Needs Sugar

The brain needs half of the body’s energy supply because of its complex nerve cell system. The brain requires glucose for brain cell energy. Because neurons can’t store energy, they need a continuous fuel supply to function correctly from the bloodstream. The ability to think, learn and recall information is closely associated with glucose levels. When blood glucose levels are low, the ability to think is inhibited as the production of chemical messengers/neurotransmitters are reduced, disrupting communication between the neurons. Natural sugar can boost brain health because it requires glucose for functioning. Sugar is released slowly into the bloodstream when taken naturally from sources like apples and bananas, keeping the energy levels steady without craving more sugar.

References

Ameh, Victor, and Steve Crane. “Nerve injury following shoulder dislocation: the emergency physician’s perspective.” European journal of emergency medicine: official journal of the European Society for Emergency Medicine vol. 13,4 (2006): 233-5. doi:10.1097/01.mej.0000206190.62201.ad

Nichols, J S, and K O Lillehei. “Nerve injury associated with acute vascular trauma.” The Surgical clinics of North America vol. 68,4 (1988): 837-52. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)44589-5

Ruggiero, S L. “Trigeminal nerve injury and repair.” The New York state dental journal vol. 62,8 (1996): 36-40.

Welch, J A. “Peripheral nerve injury.” Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal) vol. 11,4 (1996): 273-84. doi:10.1016/s1096-2867(96)80020-x

WOODHALL, B. “Peripheral nerve injury.” The Surgical clinics of North America (1954): 1147-65. doi:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)34299-2

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Nerve Injury" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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