I hear the term “Pinched Nerves” often in my practice. While this phrase may not be a standard medical term, it is commonly and easily understood and a good way to visualize the problem. Other terms for the same general condition include nerve damage, nerve compression, impinged nerves, compression neuropathy and radiculopathy. Regardless of the name, pinched nerves occur when pressure is placed on the nerve by other structures – tissues, bones, cartilage, or tendons.
Automobile accidents and the trauma to the body that goes along with them are common causes for pinched nerves and the associated symptoms. Some symptoms are quite obvious – headaches, neck pain and back pain for example. Other symptoms of nerve interference are more subtle but can be just as debilitating over time if not corrected. Pinched nerves after auto accidents may result in the following symptoms:
- Numbness and tingling in the arms and hands (less commonly legs and feet)
- A prickling feeling, “pins and needles”
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold in the extremities
- Muscle spasms or weakness
- Pain that radiates into and arm or leg
- A burning sensation or “hot and cold” sensation
- Involuntary twitching
- The feeling one’s hand or foot has “gone to sleep”
- Occasional shooting pains into shoulder and arm
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms, people experience pain differently. Further, after a car accident, you may also have other injuries, including whiplash syndrome, that can add to and complicate your nerve compression issues.
Everything from normal daily routines to sports and exercise to simply a good night’s sleep can be complicated by pinched nerves caused by a car wreck. Your Chiropractor can help to alleviate these symptoms by removing pressure from the nerve.