Pinched Nerve Symptoms and Treatment

pinched nerve symptoms and treatmentWhen it comes to talking about bodies and pain, the term “pinched nerve” often comes up. But, what is a pinched nerve and how do you know if this term describes your pain? In this blog post we’ll discuss the symptoms of a pinched nerve and the treatment options if you have one. 

What is a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is essentially a nerve that is being compressed. Pinched refers to the compression of a nerve in your body. Nerves run throughout the entire body but sometimes, after repetitive motions or prolonged positions, a nerve may become pinched or compressed by other parts of the body. 

Pinched nerves typically present in areas of the body in which there is a meeting of tendon, ligaments, or bone. Pinched nerves most commonly happen around joints because this is where tendons, ligaments, and bone meet. The compression can also cause inflammation that further compresses the nerve. Pinched nerves most commonly occur in the neck, hip, arms, wrists, shoulders, or back.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

Pinched nerves can present in a variety of ways, but the most common symptom of a pinched nerve is obvious pain. Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:

  • Pain in the area around the compressed nerve, such as the neck or elbow or wrist
  • Pain that radiates down a limb, such as the arms or legs (ex. sciatica)
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Burning sensation 
  • Limited range of motion due to pain
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Weakness during activities

Pinched Nerve Treatment

Treatment for a pinched nerve varies between patients. Some people need only to rest the area to reduce compression and inflammation, while others may require physical therapy or chiropractic treatment. Even before seeking treatment, you should stop activities that cause pain if you suspect that you have a pinched nerve. Continuing any activity that irritates a pinched nerve has the potential to cause permanent damage if left untreated. 

Treatment options for a pinched nerve include:

  • Medication (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Steroid Injections
  • Oral Corticosteroids
  • Narcotics 
  • Chiropractic Treatment
  • Physical Therapy
  • Surgery

Chiropractic Treatment for a Pinched Nerve

Chiropractic treatment may help a pinched nerve that is due to bond compression. Certain conditions, such as a bulging disc, misaligned spine, sciatica, or other conditions can be alleviated with chiropractic treatment and reduce pain-causing nerve compression.

A chiropractor will perform an intake exam to determine the cause of your pain and whether it’s because of a pinched nerve. In cases where there is bone compression, a chiropractic adjustment or series of ongoing adjustments may be all that is necessary to relieve the compression.

If you’re suffering from pain that you believe is from a pinched nerve, we may be able to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment in Redondo Beach for your pinched nerve symptoms.

Redondo Beach Chiropractor for Athletes

redondo beach chiropractor for athletesIf you’re an athlete, you know that occasionally you suffer from muscle soreness and even more severe injuries.

This is why many athletes make seeing a professional chiropractor a part of their training programs—to ensure every muscle and joint is right where it should be. If you’re an athlete or an active individual, here are some of the benefits you could receive from visiting a chiropractor.

Performance Enhancement

Since chiropractic treatments improve range of motion and flexibility, athletes attribute their treatments to an improved athletic performance. For example, chiropractic treatment can help improve your golf game. People who play golf require a healthy range of motion and a great deal of flexibility in their backs, hips and shoulders. If these athletes are not properly adjusted, their swing could be off making it difficult to get that hole in one.

Sports Injury Prevention

Often times, athletes will be at a higher risk for injury because their musculoskeletal system is a bit out of sorts. With muscles and joints not moving properly, the body tends to make concessions and enlists the help of other muscles to get the job done. The problem with this is that it goes against the natural movement of the body and increases risk of injury. Sports also test balance—if you have balance issues, a chiropractor may be able to help.

Your body was designed to move in a very specific way and if something is disrupting that, the chances of becoming injured increase. If an athlete regularly visits a chiropractor, they’ll be less likely to endure sports related injuries as their bodies will be performing at optimal levels.

Sports Injury Treatment

If you happen to experience an injury, a chiropractor would be able to help get you back into fighting form more quickly than if you opted out of seeing one.

Some of the most common injuries a chiropractor will be called in for are:

While seeing a chiropractor won’t get you out of strength training, it will help you increase your strength a bit. A study preformed on martial arts athletes showed that after undergoing regular chiropractic treatments they’d increased their grip strength. This could be particularly beneficial for athletes playing baseball, tennis, golf, football and basketball.

It should be clear that seeing a chiropractor delivers fantastic benefits to athletes at all performance levels. Whether you’re suffering from an injury, looking to prevent injuries or would like to improve your overall performance and health, you definitely should be seeking out a professional chiropractor. If you’re in the Redondo Beach area, Catalina Medical is ready to help you achieve your goals and keep you healthy while doing it. Give us a call today and or request an appointment online.

Yoga Benefits for Back and Neck Pain

yoga benefits for neck and backYoga has been touted to benefit all types of ailments and conditions. It has been recommended to relieve stress and anxiety, aid in injury treatments and even for pregnant women looking for a safe activity. Among the variety of benefits received from regular yoga practice are those provided to our necks and backs.

Yoga focuses tremendously on our posture which directly impacts the health of our back and neck. Here are various benefits to regular yoga practice along with some exercises you can try today.

Benefits of Yoga for Neck and Back

Aside from relaxation, yoga has many benefits for your neck and back health. 

Strengthening

Yoga helps to strengthen your back and neck through holding poses for a period of time and by strengthening core muscles that support the skeletal system. Your practice can be very targeted meaning that if you’d like to target specific muscles, various yoga poses can accomplish that. Poses are a gentle way to strengthen muscles but are no less effective than more rigorous activity. The back and abdominal muscles are central muscles used the majority of yoga poses. As these muscles help to maintain posture and our spinal health, yoga is the perfect form of exercise to get them in tip top shape.

Balance

A wide variety of yoga poses require the practitioner to work on improving their balance. If you have issues with balance, don’t be afraid to begin a regular yoga practice. It’s meant to make you better! As you begin to become more comfortable with posing, your balance will improve and so will your strength of your neck and spine.

Stretching

Yoga practice focuses more than just improving strength and stability. Stretching and relaxation are just as much a part of the practice as your ability to hold poses. The stretching involved relaxes our neck and spinal muscles and increases our range of motion. While holding poses, we engage some muscles while relaxing and stretching others. Instructors regularly remind students to relax their necks and jaws to promote further relaxation. Stretching also improves flexibility, which is important for reducing pain and keeping your back and neck healthy.

At-Home Yoga Exercises

There are some core yoga poses you can do from home to get you started.

Cat-Cow Pose

Starting on hands and knees, hands directly under shoulders and knees in line with hips, inhale as you drop your belly toward the ground lifting your chin and chest upward (essentially creating an arch in your back). Exhaling, draw your belly into your spine and round your back dropping your head between your shoulders.

Benefits: This pose helps to stretch the spinal muscles and works on your core strength.

Forward Fold with Shoulder Opener

From a standing position, clasp your hands behind your back and slowly hinge forward at the waist allowing your arms to follow stopping when they’ve reached your ears.

Benefits: This pose is excellent for stretching the back while strengthening it and stretching the shoulders.

Seated Spinal Twist

To do this pose, start sitting on the ground with legs stretched in front, bring one knee to your chest placing the foot on the outside of the opposite leg. Wrap your opposite arm around the knee and slowly twist yourself toward the bent leg. Hold for 3 breaths.

Benefits: Perfect for those who need a deep stretch in their necks and backs.

Yoga Exercises for Seniors

If you’re a bit older and are not sure how well you’d do with standard balancing poses, there are some that you can do from a seated position. For instance, the forward fold with shoulder opener can be performed seated in a chair instead of standing.

The chair raised hand pose is wonderful for neck and spinal strengthening as well. Sitting in a chair straighten your arms forward, palms facing each other (think a toy soldier) and raise them so your bicep is next to your ear relaxing your shoulders down.

Forward bends from a chair are perfect for stretching the spine and neck safely, too. Simply sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground and hinge at the hips letting your arms hang toward the ground. The goal is to get your tummy as flat to your thighs as you can.

Remember, yoga is a practice which requires patience. You will work toward increasing your spinal health slowly, but the benefits can be felt as quickly as after your first session. If you’re struggling with back and neck pain, talk to your chiropractor about how yoga, paired with chiropractic treatment, can help your body feel better.

Daily Activities That Can Cause Neck and Back Pain

daily activities that cause back painBack pain is an all too common affliction. It seems everyone has experienced it on some level and many people suffer from chronic symptoms. So, why is it so widespread? It’s nothing to do with evolution or our general health as a species. What mainly causes back pain, unfortunately, are every day unavoidable activities. 

Sitting

Simply sitting for extended periods of time causes back pain. This is particularly true if you have a desk job. The chairs we’re provided at our offices aren’t exactly top of the line so chances are, you’re not getting the support you need to be sitting for so long. If you’re sitting a lot that means that you’re likely working at a computer as well. Having your hands extended in front of you all day long puts strain on all areas of your back and shoulders. The position your computer is in also effects your comfort levels.

The best thing to do is make sure your workstation is as ergonomic as possible. Invest (or see if your company will) in chairs which provide adequate lumbar support. Adjust your computer so that its an arm’s length away and so that you’re slightly looking down at it or invest in a standing desk for your back. This will help with undo neck strain. Don’t forget to get moving once in a while. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, walking around periodically will help stave off stiffness.

Driving

Many of the issues with sitting also stand for driving. Driving can cause back pain for a few reasons. First, your arms are extended in front of you for extended periods of time. This is bound to get those shoulders burning. Second, our car seats are not one size fits all. You may find that you’re slightly off center with one half of your body on the edge of a bucket seat. This causes hip and spinal discomfort. You can prevent some of these issues by being sure your seat and steering wheel are adjusted properly and that you’re not sitting on anything, like your wallet, which will prevent your hips from sitting evenly.

Carrying heavy bags or backpacks

This one is difficult to get away from. Carrying heavy bags or backpacks are huge contributors to chronic back pain. Transporting laptops, books and diaper bags are a part of our daily lives. While we’d like to say you should simply lighten the load, that’s not always going to be realistic.

There are a few things you can do to better your situation, including:

  • Carry a backpack over a single shoulder bag
  • Choose a bag with wider straps
  • Don’t let the bag ride too low-adjust the backpack properly
  • Don’t carry the bag for long periods of time
  • Carry fewer items in your bags

Texting

The curled position we put ourselves in when looking at our phones wreaks havoc on our neck and spine and the condition is known as text neck. Text neck is caused by the prolonged bending of the neck exacerbated by the weight of the head. We put ourselves in this position often, even when not texting. Reading, washing dishes, or even playing with our children put our upper spine in similar positions. The best way to prevent this is to try and keep personal devices at eye level. 

Sports

If you’re active and play sports or regularly hit the gym, you’re likely suffering from some musculoskeletal issues due to athletic activity. We would never tell you to stop exercising, but if you are experiencing discomfort it could be because you’re not warming up/cooling down properly or are performing movements improperly. 

Every one of these regularly occurring activities can cause pain. The good news is that it can be treated effectively via a chiropractor! If you’re in the Redondo Beach area and in need of some relief, contact Catalina Medical Center today.

Tips for Preventing Falls in the Home

tips for preventing falls in the homeAn unexpected fall can quickly become a scary situation. Older adults can become severely and irreversibly injured if they experience a traumatic fall so doing whatever they can to prevent such a thing from happening is very important. Take a look at the following activities you or your loved ones can partake in to help avoid unnecessary spills.

Balance Exercises

One of the simplest and most effective activities are balance exercises. It’s first helpful to gauge where you’re currently at with your balance. Close to a wall or the back of a chair, try standing on one foot. Can you make it for 5 seconds? If you’re a bit wobbly or couldn’t stand without placing your foot back down, your balance could use some work. It’s not uncommon for elderly individuals to limit the amount they move about due to the fear of falling, but this is counterproductive.

Home Safety Tips

There are several areas in the home in which elderly people are likely to fall. Doing a thorough inspection of your living spaces will help prevent mishaps.

Things to look for are:

  • Cluttered floor: be sure no items such as shoes, books or any other out of place things are left out.
  • Use area rugs: many homes in Southern California have tile or wood floors. Use area rugs to create traction in the home.
  • Non-slip mats: purchase non-slip mats for bathtubs and showers. This is a particularly dangerous area in the home and a common place for falls to occur.
  • Wear shoes indoors: If you’ve got tile, wood or laminate floors, socks of stockings will increase your risk of slipping. Wear shoes even when inside.
  • Increase lighting: the inability to see “road hazards” can easily trip you up. Make sure the home is well lit.
  • Ask for help: avoiding ladders and step stools can be inconvenient, but it’s better to wait for someone to help than to take a nasty tumble.
  • Hide wires: it’s incredibly easy to get your foot trapped on a wire. If there’s no way to avoid running cords through a walkway, cover them with cord protectors.

Chiropractic Assistance for Falls

There’s a high probability that you’re experiencing chiropractic problems without understanding the source of the issue and these issues are very likely effecting your balance. Seeing a chiropractor for concerns which arise with age should be a part of your regular healthcare plan. As it relates to preventing falls, a chiropractor will be able to examine your gait and determine if your body is out of alignment. Being even slightly askew effects a person’s balance. Your chiropractor can help through various spinal manipulations and adjustments.

Chiropractors can also help with general musculoskeletal discomfort. Experienced professionals take into account a patients age, so don’t be concerned that you’re not up for a chiropractic visit. Chiropractors will use gentle techniques to relieve bodily stress and correct alignment. For more information or if you’d like to see a chiropractor for assistance with balance or musculoskeletal discomfort, Catalina Medical is here to help. If you’re in the Redondo Beach area, click here to schedule your appointment today.