Can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve- 3 steps you MUST do!
Pinched nerve and sciatica pain is the worse kind of a pain you will EVER experience in your life, it really is. No pills, NO medication in the world will ever get rid of that pain you are experiencing PERMENANTLY. They might work for few hours but that's it.
Pinched nerve pain is almost like a paralyzing type of pain.
This pain is living with you in every step of your day and has got almost full control of your life. Whatever you do, it's there:
- It attacks you when you stand up
- When you turn from side to side while in bed
- When you get out of bed
- You can't walk for a long time
- You can't even lie straight on the floor
If you are experiencing what I have mentioned above, then this article might help you to get rid of this excruciating pain that you are feeling. What I want to share with you today is a personal experience of how I got rid of my neck, chest, and hip pain that I suffered from and lived with for more than 3 years.
I'm going to show you exactly how I did it and what you should expect and learn from my experience and how you can apply it to your daily lives to get rid of your pain and take back control of your life.
And answering the BIG question which is can chiropractor fix pinched nerve or sciatica and other related ailments. Or is chiropractic medicine waste of money and more importantly is it even safe to do or not? I do strongly believe that my experience is not only about getting rid if your pain but also it's about living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
This is an overview of what we will be covering today.
1- Do you need a chiropractor, if so, for how long?
2- You MUST use neck traction wedge at home, period.
3- Do functional training.
Chiropractor, Acupuncture or Physiothrapist?
Pinched nerve, sciatica, herniated discs, stiff neck, hip pain and numbness in arms and legs, these are some of the terms that doctors use to describe the unbearable and excruciating pain and discomfort that so many of us experience at some point in our lives.
Also read: Chiroprctors vs Physiotherapists
The thing about the agonizing and almost paralyzing pain of pinched nerve, herniated discs and sciatica is that it attacks you when least expected and suddenly takes over your life.
At that moment of discomfort, the last thing we think about or ask ourselves is that can chiropractor fix a pinched nerve or sciatica or whatever the heck I'm going through. It can be truly a daunting experience and feels like a nightmare that you hope that you are going to wake up from at some point and everything will be fine the next day.
This pain and discomfort is undoubtedly the most an unwelcomed guest that you are being forced to live with and cannot wait to see them leave. but guess what?
They never do and you stuck with them forever or at least this is how I felt at the time when sciatica attacked me and got to experience it for the first time. Over a period of 6 moths, I had pain in neck, chest, hips and knees and just kept getting worse.
For me, it was one of the worse days of my life, I couldn't believe the pain that I was feeling at the time. The simplest things that I used to take for granted before like getting out of bed, walking, trying to get up after sitting for a long time were a nightmare for me.
After I was diagnosed with sciatica and realized that I had messed up back, for a year and a half I tried almost all the drugs and supplements that you can think of. From analgesics to glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM you name it. They definitely helped me to ease and relieve the pain but it never truly fixed my back.
Did you know?
Taking NSAIDs for more than 3 months can cause internal bleeding or even death
Know EXACTLY what you are suffering from and take action
I knew at that time I had to stop going in circles and see what exactly is happening to me and go to see a specialist and that's when I asked myself that may be chiropractic can fix me and get rid of my pain.
The thing that made me decide to go and see a chiropractor is that pinched nerve, herniated discs, and sciatica is not muscles or tendons injuries. Pinched nerve and sciatica are a mechanical issue, it's related to your poor posture. What I mean by that is that you have to know EXACTLY what is causing the pain and the discomfort.
I had to pinpoint what the pain was? is it dull, sharp, is there any soreness or swelling stuff like that.
what does it come from and what's causing it? Basically, I got tired of playing a guessing game and I wanted to know the core of the problem. That's when you will be able to address it the right way and find the right treatment for your agonizing pain.
And that's not the end of it. Knowing what ailment is simply not enough. As you know there are so many different treatments out there and everyone is trying to convince you that they have the best and the only cure for your pain.
After years of agonizing pain, I came to the simple conclusion that is that if the root of the problem is the SPINE and my posture then why am I going to try physiotherapy or acupuncture or any other treatments or drugs.
Don't get me wrong I'm a big believer in physiotherapy and acupuncture but putting it in simple terms, they DON'T fix misalignments and bad postures, they are good for muscle and tendon injuries not spine misalignments.
Like I said before, it took me a while till I decided that maybe a chiropractor was the answer. I had to try it to find out.
Educate yourself about you and your ailment
To really know what treatment is the right one for you, you have to really educate yourself about the back, the spine, and nervous system to know exactly what you are putting yourself through. What most people don't realize is that in most cases Pinched nerve and herniated disk ailment start way before the pain starts.
Did you know?
It takes us years before we realize that we suffer from herniated disk and sciatica, and sometimes we spent all our lives not knowing that we suffer from it and it's for one simple reason and that is because we don't feel PAIN.
What's a pinched nerve?
The thing that causes a pinched nerve is when a nerve gets compressed or literally pinched by a bone or cartilage or may be a tendon or a muscle. The 2 most common places that a pinched nerve can occur is due to herniated disc and carpel tunnel syndrome.
Herniated disk for an instance is caused by the misalignment of the spine and that leads to cartilage or bone pinching the nerve and that causes nerve inflammation which can lead to so many back and neck problems. If the nerve is pinched for a short period of time that won't cause permanent damage to the nerve, however, if that nerve exposed to constant compression that can lead to a permanent damage.
Pinched nerve, herniated disk, and sciatica and the spine
The spine and your back are the true foundations for a good overall health. You can avoid so many physical and mental illnesses and diseases if you take care of you spine and back.
- pinched nerve
- herniated disk
- stiffness in neck and shoulders
- lower back pain
- chest pain
- knee pain
To really understand the causes and symptoms of back and spine misalignment we have to take a close look at the spine and see if the root of the problem is in the spine or not.
The spine consists of 4 vital parts:
- Cervical spine: There are 7 cervical vertebrae and their main function are to protect and support the head. The important thing to remember here is that the head weight approx. 12 LB. What this means is that the weight of the head and how it's aligned plays very important role in keeping our back and spine in proper posture.
- Thoracic spine: The 12 thoracic vertebrae play a vital role in protecting the organs in the chest area, especially the heart and the lungs.
- Lumbar spine: it consists of 5 large vertebrae that support the weight of the spine and the lower back. As you know that having strong core protects the lower back and it's one of the best ways for avoiding pinched and herniated discs in the lower back region.
- Sacral spine: They are 5 vertebrae that support the weight of the upper body and spread into the pelvis and the legs. The sacrum has no visible disc spaces like the other parts of the spine.
Did you know?
Every inch that your head moves forward it increases your head's weight by 10BLs. If it moves 2 inches forward, the head will weight 32 LBs and that can cause all sorts of havoc in the body and specifically in the spine.
The other thing to remember is the spinal cord and the nervous system can undeniably play an important role in keeping everything from the brain to other vital organs functioning at optimal condition. According to my chiropractor at huntclubchiropractic.ca, the slightest disruption to those nerves that are attached to the spine can result in pain, stiffness, discomfort and numbness and can affect any part of the body.
The most common causes of pinched nerve and other related ailments
Poor posture is one of the most underestimated causes of spinal alignment and back pain. Years of bad sleeping, sitting and standing habits can lead to headaches, stiff neck and shoulders and back pain.
We have to be aware of how we stand and how we sit when we are driving or at the workplace. Paying attention to these small things can help us have better posture and less pain.
2- Lack of physical activity
Doing regular physical exercises can really help us eliminate so many illnesses physically and mentally.
As we all aware of the fact that obesity is one of the leading cause of so many illnesses and diseases. Obese individuals put too much pressure on their joints and their spine and that can easily cause back and neck pain and discomfort and spinal and disk degeneration.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health carried a study that concluded that obesity can increase the risk of lumbar disk degeneration.
4- Injuries and SILENT injuries
Injuries can be very obvious and sometimes not as obvious as we might think.
I think this one of the major issues we face is that we take some injuries very lightly thinking that they will subside on their own, and the reason behind that is that when you don't feel discomfort and pain you automatically think there's nothing to worry about and the issue is forgotten.
After few months or even years, these forgotten silent injuries creep back up and suddenly we are experiencing all sorts of discomfort and pain.
So, it's really important that we start to think of injuries differently and take the appropiate measures to make sure that these injuries are not going to develope into a major issue that will affect us in the future.
Concussions, brain injuries and back misalignment are very serious injuries that affect children and adults alike. These are one of the so-called silent injuries that are not taken seriously and simply ignored by almost everyone.
5-Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis
Autoimmune diseases have the tendency to attack other body parts and joints and that can lead to disc and cartilage degeneration.
What are the the symptoms
The symptoms and their severity can vary from one individual to another. The symptoms can affect any part of the body but the most common places are:
- Lower back
- and even the foot
As you can see it's really difficult to know what exactly someone is suffering from when so many parts of the body can be affected by a pinched nerve in the spine. The most common symptoms that people suffer from when they suddenly (not really) hit with a nerve pain are :
My journey to pain free neck and back
So, you did all the research online and you have everything figured out? just like I did. Sorry to break it to you, you are not even close to knowing what's really wrong with you TILL...
1- Going and seeing the chiropractor for the first time
When I first went for a consultation at my local chiropractic clinic I didn't know what to expect despite that fact that I did my thorough research and I thought I had everything figured out.
But guess what?
You can do all the reading and the research in the world but you won't exactly know what's happening to you till you go and see a specialist. So, STOP reading and trying to figure out what's wrong with you and GO and see a specialist, REALLY it's that simple.
Before they took and X-ray of my neck and back, they did a physical check up and that's when it hit me so hard and made me understand what was really wrong with me. It was one of the most simple exams I have done in my life but it was the most eye-opening one.
All the chiropractor did was checking my body posture and how my shoulders were aligned. And to my surprise, one of my shoulders was lower than the other one, and I found that out from just standing front of a mirror. All my life and during the time I was suffering from the agonizing pain I never thought about checking my posture and see how it looks when I stand or walk or even sleep.
Trust me it can tell you A LOT about your body and you learn with time how to listen to your body and how you can prevent it in the future. Doing an easy and simple thing of just standing front of a mirror told me almost everything that I needed about why I'm suffering from this excruciating and unbearable pain.
2- The X-ray results that changed my life FOREVER
The X-ray results showed that my neck was tilting forward by almost an inch and I had a slight misalignment at my lower back. By the way, this is a very common misalignment that most people have without even realizing it and that's for one simple reason, because if you don't feel pain than we think there's nothing wrong with us, right?.
Well, this is one of the major problems we have and the way we think. Unfortunately, this is how we treat our body, we NEVER look or even think about prevention. we are always looking for a cure. What I have learned over the years is that the sole problem of most back misalignment and pain is originating from the NECK.
Any misalignment in the neck can cause major problems and pain almost anywhere else in the body. Probably you would agree with me if I said that one of the most common and obvious bad postures are in the upper back and this is caused by neck misalignment and that comes from years of bad habits of standing and sitting and so on and so forth.
Do not underestimate what the neck can do to you and your health.
The 5 stages of neck degeneration, IS IT FIXABLE OR NOT?
Remember that neck degeneration takes years of poor lifestyle and bad habits which make our neck self-destruct itself gradually. The neck becomes prone injuries, stiffness, pain and more, all of that comes from misalignment and our ignorance of addressing the core of the problem, which ultimately affects the body as a whole.
Maybe the pain is on your arm but actually, it all started in your neck, so if you are not going to fix your neck then you will never going to fix your arm. The are 5 stages that our neck and back go through where over time the discs in your neck start to degenerate and the gap between the vertebrates shrink.
What that does is not only affects the neck but puts pressure on the nerves and the blood vessels around the vertebrates and that's when we start to complain from pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms and other places.
Stages 1-3 are possible to correct and depend on someone's age, it can go back to the perfect curved shape. In the case of stages 4-5 are difficult or maybe even impossible to correct but a chiropractor can bring some movement back to the neck so it doesn't get any worse.
3- I was convinced that chiropractic was the SOLUTION
There are 3 things that I did and still do that helped me to get rid of my PAIN. These 3 steps are scientifically proven to work wonders not only for you pain but for your health and well-being.
Do chiropractic adjustments for 1 YEAR before you QUIT
So, I started to go to the chiropractor for about 6 months before I started to feel some improvement and relief from that paralyzing pain. The thing about chiropractic medicine is that it takes time.
What makes people don't like chiropractic medicine is that it's really long process (and it's expensive) and the reason behind that is that the pain that we are suffering from took years and years before we started to complain from it.
Unlike what most people think, pain that originates from your back and neck takes a long time before you start to feel it. It is very slow and long process. The body goes through so many phases before it starts to express the discomfort and the stress that is going through in a form of pain.
If that's the case then why do we think that the fix needs to be an instant and quick? sorry to break it to you, there's not quick FIX for your pain, it's going to be a process just like how the whole thing started in the first place. You need to be patient and believe in the process because that's the only way it's going to work.
Everyone will react differently to the initial adjustments. Some people will feel soreness after the very first adjustment and some people won't just like me. But the actual adjustments are not painful like some think, it's actually as painless as it can get.
After the 6 months, the pain in my chest disappeared but there was no big improvement in my shoulders, hip, and thighs, especially when I go for long walks it becomes very uncomfortable after a while. It took me a year and a half before I started to feel big improvements . The pain was gone and my back and neck were finally fixed.
Don't underestimate the Neck traction Wedge
There are few different neck traction methods that every clinic adapts like:
- Over the door neck traction kit
- Air neck traction
- Neck traction wedge
I have to say that I have never tried the over the door or the air neck traction, the reason is being that I just followed my chiropractor's advice and used the neck traction wedge instead. Neck traction involves a neck traction wedge, which is almost a triangular shaped foam pillow that is used to correct the misalignment in the neck.
The way it works it's by lying down on your back and positioning the back of your neck on the edge of the wedge and you stay in that position for 20 mins each time. You do it once a day every day for as long as you want. It's very simple but very effective if done properly.
Neck traction wedge is designed to correct neck misalignment by pulling on each vertebrate to relieve the pressure on the discs, blood vessels, and nerves, so the spine can move freely and that with time should help in correcting the spine.
A study was carried out by Swezey Institute, Arthritis and Back Pain Center, Santa Monica, California to examine the efficacy of cervical neck traction. The results were truly remarkable as all the different groups of patients experienced 77%- 100% pain relief. Don't underestimate what neck traction can do for you and your back and neck.
From my personal experience, neck traction really helped me to relieve most of the pain in my neck, chest and shoulders in the early stages of my rehabilitation.
Do functional training exercise to keep PAIN away
As we all know that exercising has so many health benefits for people of all ages.
What I want to focus on is FUNCTIONAL TRAINING. According to Wikipedia, functional training plays a big part in rehabilitation, chiropractic medicine and physiotherapy. Functional training is probably the most important step in getting rid of your pain and preventing it from coming back again.
What I mean by that is that the chiropractor will help to correct you posture but it won't strengthen the muscles around the spine and the joints. It focuses on strengthening your muscles, joint pain reduction, increase in joint mobility and also disciplines your body on having correct posture and getting rid of the bad habits of standing or sitting awkwardly and much more.
Functional training can speed the process of any pain relief therapy, it can really help you in so many different ways. The beauty of functional training is its versatility. What I mean by that is that you can incorporate functional training into any fitness program.
If you like to weights when you workout or endurance or you like fast-moving and explosive exercises, you can easily incorporate functional training and get the benefits of both. I'm one of those people that like to work out at home, so for the last 6 years I have been and still a huge fan of Beachbody workouts.
Beachbody workouts are one of if not the best at incorporating functional training into all of the workout DVDs that they make.
The very first workout I did was P90X but I didn't enjoy doing it because of the pain I was experiencing at the time. But after I started going to the chiropractor, I gradually started to enjoy my workouts and since then I never looked back.
As you can see that there is no one single quick fix for herniated disc and sciatica. It's a combination of things that makes it possible. That's why you so many people don't get the real benefits of chiropractic medicine, the reason being is that chiropractic won't give the best results on its own you have to supplement it with exercising and incorporating healthy habits into your lifestyle.