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Posted on 10-13-2016

Pinched nerves are often the result of foraminal stenosis, which is the term given to describe the narrowing of the hole where a nerve exits the spinal column.  This narrowing process can occur anywhere along the spine, including the cervical (upper spine), thoracic (middle) and lumbar (lower) regions. 

A multitude of spinal issues cause the foramen to narrow, including bulging or herniated discs, degenerative changes from arthritis, bony growths (bone spurs) and the swelling of soft tissue in adjacent areas.  As the region intended to house a spinal nerve narrows, the residing nerve become impinged, or pinched.  Symptoms of a pinched nerve are both sensory and motor in nature.  Those suffering from a pinched nerve can experience pain, numbness, tingling in either the arms or the legs.  A pinched nerve can also lead to weakness in a limb, abnormal reflexes and in severe cases, paralysis.

Anyone who experiences recurrent pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in one or more extremities should seek medical attention.  Chiropractors will typically note a patient's history of when the symptoms started and whether there were any recent injuries such as a car accident or a fall.  They will also most likely take an X-ray and/or send their patient to a hospital or radiology center for an MRI test.

Once a diagnosis is made, a chiropractor can suggest a series of chiropractic adjustments designed to relieve the pressure on the affected nerve(s) resulting in a reduction or elimination of symptoms.  They may also prescribe exercises patients can perform at home designed to stretch and strengthen adjacent muscles in order to provide strength and support to the spinal column.

If you are experiencing issues such as numbness, pain or tingling in any extremity and suspect you may be suffering from foraminal stenosis, please contact us.

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