Debilitating Nerve Pain
Different Types of Pain
Over the next few blogs I will discuss the different types of Pain you may have.
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
Nerve pain usually feels like numbness, tingling, pins-and-needles, sharp shooting, burning, or weakness. Usually the nerve or nerves are compressed, pinched, stretched, or injured in some way. This can be a tight muscle squeezing the nerve. For example, a condition called “piriformis syndrome” is a muscle spasm in your buttocks that creates sciatica or pressure on your sciatic nerve. The source of the problem is not in the back at all. You might have numbness, or tingling in hands or arms, which can be from nerves being irritated in the neck or arm.
There are small canals or openings in your spinal column that allow room for your nerves to live. These nerves are extensions from your spinal cord, and the nerves control the functions of your organs. Any pressure or inflammation around the nerves can create pain and dysfunction to the organ that it supplies. Several conditions can cause compression on nerves. These include stenosis, a narrowing of the canal due to arthritic or degenerative changes in the spine. You might have a disc herniation, a bulge that puts pressure on the nerve. You could have a disc or ligament that is torn or injured and the swelling is irritating the nerve. A vertebra in your spine can misalign or become out of proper position, putting pressure on a nerve. Nerves that are compressed long periods of time can be permanently damaged, leading to muscle weakness, a loss of muscle tone. A condition called “foot drop” is one in which the nerves, those that connect to the muscles that lift your foot while walking, are no longer functioning. Sometimes there’s compression in one area of a nerve and the far end of that nerve is where the patient feels the symptoms. To be clear, compression of the nerve might be in your back, but you can feel numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in your toes or feet. These can lead to peripheral neuropathy, which is a topic for another book.
SUCCESS CASE STUDY
Paul is a 55-year-old truck driver, who has been driving for 15 years. He came into the clinic with searing pain traveling down the back of his right leg. He was certain he had herniated a disc in his lower back. I asked him why he believed that, and he said that his coworker, who referred him to my clinic, had the same thing happen to him and it was a herniated disc putting pressure on his sciatic nerve. After examination and X-rays of his lower back, no real sign of any problems were found in his lower back. As I was examining his lower back, I saw a three-inch wallet in his right pocket. I asked Paul if he typically removed the wallet while he was driving or sitting, and he responded “no.” I removed the wallet and felt a muscle, called the piriformis, which is located in the buttocks right where the wallet was setting. He just about came off the table when I touched the area. “What the hell was that, Doc?” he asked. I think we found the problem. It is known as piriformis syndrome, a compression of the sciatic nerve due to irritation of the piriformis muscle that lives in the buttocks. The piriformis muscle was choking his sciatic nerve—the problem was not in his back at all. I have seen many medical providers misdiagnose or run up medical bills on MRIs of the lower back and other diagnostic tests, all of which come back normal. Many just think a patient must be exaggerating the symptoms, but it’s an issue in how some of these medical professionals are trained. Paul’s condition improved after six weeks of muscle balance therapy, pelvic realignment, electrical nerve stimulation to heal the nerve, and laser therapy. Oh, and removing his wallet while driving is key in not making the sciatic nerve mad again.
For 10 days only, I’m running a very special offer .
What does this offer include? Everything I normally do in my new patient evaluation.
Just call here’s what you’ll get…
An in-depth consultation about your health and well-being where I will listen…really listen…to the details of your case. A complete neuromuscular examination, full set of specialized x-rays (if necessary), and a thorough analysis of your exam and x-ray findings so we can start mapping out your plan to being pain free.
Life is too short to let pain slow you down. Call now 325-695-9355.