What is a pinched nerve?

The human body is a self-contained, self-governing and self-protecting vehicle which is designed to “live” many years. The body, with its framework of bones, its moving parts and motors of muscles and organs and its communication system of nerves, is controlled by the rational and sentient capacity of the brain. With all the parts functioning smoothly life is known, experienced and enjoyed.

The nerves can be traced back to a point where they leave the backbone and enter the spinal column through small bone sections called vertebrae. These separate sections are bound together into a strong, flexible vertebral column by muscles and fibers. Between these sections or segments are protective cushions of cartilage.

It is possible for one or several of the individual vertebrae to slip or turn slightly from their proper position by sudden twists, prolonged stress of remaining in one position, falls, blows or other accidental strains. Displacement of the vertebral section tends to change the size and shape of the nerve trunk openings resulting in pressure upon or obstruction of the nerve trunk. This physical obstruction creates an abnormal flow of nerve impulse.

There are 24 moveable vertebrae in the spine, with nerve trunks issuing to the right and left between each juncture of the vertebrae, each carrying millions of individual fibers bundled together like a telephone cable and extending to the various parts of the body. This is why any one of the many bodily parts and organs are affected by nerve obstructions and why these effects can be detrimental.

Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to discover displacements of the vertebral segments of the spine. Not only do they rely on their educated fingers discovering displaced vertebrae that reveals noticeable tenderness as the result of irritation, but x-ray is also used to show the position of the vertebrae in relation to one another. Other diagnostic measuring equipment are utilized but the type of devices used vary with doctors preference and are used to provide additional information about the body and the possible underlying dysfunction.

Vertebral displacement, termed “subluxation” by chiropractors is corrected by a chiropractic adjustment. The bone will be felt and usually heard called a “cavitation” as it is moved back into place, where it belongs. Bones move from pain causing positions to the original health inducing positions. Chiropractors are uniquely trained in the biomechanics of all the joints comprising the human body and know exactly which structures are “out-of” their normal position and through various techniques assist the two bones comprising the joint back into its proper position.
In this modern era of catch phrase we have often come to know the resultant cause of a displaced vertebrae as a “pinched nerve”.

You can see, healthy and normal nerve trunks branch forth from normal openings in the spinal column. But you can also see the devastating effect vertebral pinching has on a once healthy and normal nerve trunk.

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