One cause of neck and back pain is when you have a pinched nerve. This causes constant irritation of the nerve which can cause pain at the location where the nerve is pinched as well as anywhere along the path of the affected nerve. Here's a look at what causes this condition and how it can be treated.
Causes of a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve can happen as a result of an injury such as a car accident or a fall. However, you can also develop a pinched nerve without having any type of accident. It could develop due to repetitive motion, poor posture, a herniated disc, or a medical condition such as arthritis. Anything that compresses the nerve can cause symptoms of tingling, numbness, and pain. Compression could come from tissue swelling that crowds the nerve or pinching due to movement of a disc or joint in your spine.
Treatments For a Pinched Nerve
The first step is to identify the source of the problem through testing such as a CT scan or MRI. This helps determine the best course of treatment. If the pinching is caused by muscle or tissue swelling, then anti-inflammatory medications may help. Applying ice over your neck or back could also help reduce swelling. Rest may be an important part of treatment too so you can prevent further injury and allow time for your tissues to heal. Massage therapy may help speed healing of your muscles by improving blood flow to the injured area.
Pinching that's caused by spinal problems may respond to chiropractic treatments. Stretching the spine on a therapy table or treatments that adjust your spine can take pressure off the pinched nerve. It's possible you might need surgery to repair a disc that's pressing against a nerve and causing chronic pain.
Physical therapy might be beneficial as well. By strengthening your back and core muscles, you can improve your posture and support your spine so that compression of the nerve is reduced. Weight loss could also be important in reducing the pressure on your spine. Using ergonomic equipment when you work and sit for long periods can often help because these cause you to maintain good posture which can prevent nerve compression due to slumping or straining your neck.
If you often have neck or back pain at the end of the day or after sleeping all night, you'll want to examine your habits and make changes that prevent chronic irritation of the nerves in your back and neck. Neck and back pain that's caused by your lifestyle might be reversed by improving your habits. Chronic irritation can lead to permanent damage and ongoing pain. Also, don't ignore the pain that develops after a fall or injury. Seek help so you can heal properly and not have lasting effects.
Contact a company like Beltline Chiropractic for more information and assistance.