Numbness: Pain’s More Insidious Cousin

By Dr. Philip Cordova

February 28, 2020

When you are in pain, the only thing you can think of is how to make it stop.

Pain in your neck or back may push you to stretch, use ice or heat, or visit a doctor to find out the cause of and solution for your discomfort. If a condition isn't that uncomfortable, or if it is bothersome, but we can ignore it, we do. But what if those bothersome symptoms are more insidious than the pain we experience?

What is Numbness?

Our bodies are made up of a complicated electrical system known as the nervous system. Nerves innervate (or go into) every muscle and organ in our bodies and control everything from our breathing patterns to complex physical processes like dance or playing sports. Our nerve health is vital to our overall health.

When a nerve is pinched or damaged due to illness or injury, we feel four things - pain, numbness, tingling, or burning, depending on where the nerve is and how it is compromised. These feelings are S.O.S. signals that the nerve is not operating correctly.

Ignoring Numbness Can Lead to Nerve Damage

We tend to pay attention to pain. Pain tends to limit our abilities. However, burning, tingling, and especially numbness can be ignored.

What we do not realize is that these feelings, if left untreated, can lead to nerve damage over time. If a nerve is not sending or receiving electrical impulses the way it should, the body will begin to reroute those communications to other undamaged nerves, if possible. Over time, the malfunctioning nerve is bypassed completely, resulting in permanent nerve damage.

How is Numbness Treated?

As soon as you begin experiencing numbness, it is important to seek treatment. While most physicians will prescribe medication for neuropathy (the technical term for numbness or a loss of sensation), it does not address the underlying cause. Fortunately, the best treatment options available are non-invasive, pain-free, and address both the discomfort of numbness and what is causing it.

Chiropractic Care

Whether you are experiencing numbness after an injury or simply over time, chiropractic care is key to treating numbness in your extremities. Nerves that travel to your arms, hands, legs, and feet all begin in the spinal cord at varying points in your back. If the vertebrae (the bones in your spine) are not aligned, the nerves that are protected by the bones are pinched. This often leads to numbness in other parts of the body. Once the vertebrae are back in position, the numbness goes away.

Cervical Decompression and Spinal Decompression

Injury, illness, or time can cause the discs that act as shock absorbers in between your vertebrae to deteriorate, slip, or rupture. This process can result in numbness, tingling, burning, or pain in other parts of the body. Cervical decompression and spinal decompression use a computerized system to gently stretch the spine and allow the discs to move back into place, heal, and stop impinging on nerves as leave the spinal cord. 

Chiropractic care, cervical decompression, and spinal decompression all have a cumulative effect. As the body adjusts to the new positioning of the spine, it will hold the correct position longer, providing lasting relief from any discomfort. Ready to take back your nerve health and stop numbness in its tracks? Call our office today or schedule your consultation online.

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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