January 17, 2011

Staten Island Chiropractor Dr. Victor Dolan Tells You What To Do When You Have a Pinched Nerve

A patient came into the office of Staten Island Chiropractor Dr. Victor Dolan today with a severe limp and told me he had pain starting at his hip running all the way down to his foot. He said it was his big toe that really hurt. So I told him I would take a look at his back. He looked at me and said, “But the pain is in my foot!” 

I explained what was probably causing his pain is what is commonly called a pinched nerve. If you are feeling pain that starts in your upper, mid or lower back and travels down your legs or arms or elsewhere, a disc in your spine has probably become inflamed and swollen and is narrowing the area near the vertebrae that make up your spine through which your nerves pass. The disc is most likely inflamed because it has slipped out of alignment or has become herniated. The so-called "pinched nerve" is really one or more nerves under relatively slight pressure. 

But the resultant pain often does not feel slight at all. 

How To Take The Pinch Out of Your Pain

The good news is if you get treatment soon after the problem reveals itself, you can often achieve a full recovery. There are a number of procedures that can help the disc in question regain its former position in your spinal alignment. And as inflammation and swelling are decreased, taking pressure off the nerve and other surrounding tissues, relief is on it way to your back and neck—and even your toes. 

The first step to relief is one you can take at home with the use of the simple ice pack. Protect your skin with a towel and place the pack on the painful area of your back for a maximum of 20 minutes. 

If your pain persists drop in to see your friendly neighborhood chiropractor for an adjustment to correct any misalignment in your spine. 

Cold Laser Therapy

In my office, I usually follow your adjustment with any of a variety of in-office therapies I have available for my patients such as the new Cold Laser Therapy which is popular with athletes who often overtax their backs. The goal is to relax muscles surrounding the troubled spinal area because stress in one area of your spine can lead to tension and pain in other areas of your back and the rest of your body. 

As you will see in today's video, trauma and misalignment of the spine can cause severe pain in parts of your body far from the original source of the pain--such as your fingers, your head or your legs—even your toes. 

How You Work and Play

Once we get you on your way to recovery, I also like to demonstrate a few easy, simple exercises you can use to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back which will help prevent future back-related injuries. 

Finally, as a certified nutritionist, Staten Island Chiropractor Dr. Victor Dolan always likes to look at your overall lifestyle: what you eat, how you work and play and how you sleep. Paying close attention to your lifestyle parameters and general health history are powerful tools that can be used to keep you healthy and pain-free in the future.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:  What pains have you experienced that were found ultimately to have originated with your back?  Please post your comments and observations at  http://www.facebook.com/Dr.VictorDolan.