What Is a “Pinched” Nerve?

Chiropractors and neurologists use the term, “pinched” nerve when they are talking to you about your back and neck. That term is really a misnomer. To understand why it’s a misnomer, you need to know about something called “motion segments”.

Let me explain ‘motion segments’ and what that term really means. A “motion segment” is made up of two adjacent vertebrae (bones), the disc that acts as a “shock absorber” between the two bones, and the muscles and ligaments that keep the two bones together.

Here’s something you might not be aware of though. Your billions of nerves carry communication signals between your brain and body and these billions of nerves exit your spinal cord from between EACH motion segment. Why’s that important? If either bone in a ‘motion segment’ is out of place, or turned even slightly from its proper position, a pressure will be exerted on your nerve trunk. This is commonly referred to as a “pinched” nerve, but is really a misaligned bone(s)! This minor misalignment causes a ‘short’ in your nervous (wiring) system and this can cause havoc on your nervous system.

So what causes a bone in your spinal column to become out of place? Displacement can occur as the result of anything: a fall, an accident, an injury, a repetitive movement (heavy lifting on the job), something as simple as staying in the same position for a long time (working at a computer all day) or sudden twists/jerks or even stress.

Each of your nerve roots is made up of millions of little fibers (like telephone cable) that exit each side of your spinal column, above and below each of your vertebra. When a vertebra (bone) looses its normal position, even slightly, you get pressure on your nerve roots (millions of little fibers) which affects your nerve impulses (your wiring) that go out to different parts and organs of your body.

The symptoms of vertebral (nerve) pressure on a nerve root include ‘pain, a burning sensation, tingling or numbness’ down one side of your body, perhaps in your arm or leg. You might also experience ‘headaches, stomach or intestinal problems, sciatica, a stiff neck, insomnia, asthma, allergies, or any number of illnesses’ as a result of nerve interference caused by the displaced vertebra (bone).

As your Chiropractor I am trained to identify these areas of “displacement,” which we call subluxations. Once I locate your misplaced bones, I begin the process of moving it back into place using very specific adjustments, over a certain period of time. This takes the pressure off the affected nerves, so that they can re-establish proper communication throughout your body, allowing health and healing to take place.

Dr. Frank E. Kaden, D.C.
1927 Artesia Blvd., #7
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 251-0862


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