Maybe you experience sharp, stabbing pain. Or perhaps a burning sensation running up or down your arm or leg is keeping you awake at night. You may even feel wide-spread pain in your arms, back, shoulders, neck, or legs. From work to play, exercise to rest, nerve pain can affect every aspect of your life. Fortunately, with treatment, nerve pain can loosen its hold on how you live.
What is Pain?
Before you can understand what nerve pain is, it is important to understand the role pain plays in the body. Pain is our early warning system. Designed to prevent lasting injury, your body experiences pain when pain receptors in your nerve endings are activated. In a fraction of a second, your brain processes these signals as pain and the body reacts accordingly. For example, you may touch a hot pan right out of the oven and jerk your hand without even consciously recognizing you are in pain.
What Causes Nerve Pain?
When the pain receptors in your body’s nerve endings are activated without the presence of a painful stimulus, you are left with pain without an obvious cause. For example, you may have foot pain without ever injuring your foot or burning in your legs without ever getting near a heat source.
Nerve pain generally comes from two sources, nerve damage or an impeded nerve signal. Every nerve ending in your body originates in the brain and spinal cord. When these nerves function the way they should, pain, touch, itching, or burning sensations start from a stimulus (like burning your hand on the stove) and travel to the brain, unimpeded. However, injuries, accidents, stress, or even daily impacts on the spine can impede the way these nerves function. As a result, the nerves begin to misfire, alerting the body there is something wrong, causing widespread pain without a known source.
How is Nerve Pain Treated?
There is a general tendency to treat neuropathic pain with medication that serves to either block pain receptors or flood the brain with synthetic opioids. The biggest challenge with using medication to treat nerve pain is that it does not address how well the nerve is functioning. Fortunately, there are safe alternatives to medication that combine relief with better nerve function.
The basic premise of chiropractic care is that if you remove the impediment to the nerve’s function, you will solve the pain problem as well. As the bones in the spine are moved into place, the nerves that emanate from the spinal cord are able to send and receive signals freely. Pain receptors stop misfiring and nerve pain goes away.
Acupuncture has been proven to relieve nerve pain throughout the body. By targeting specific nerves that are causing pain, acupuncture provides specific pain relief without the use of medications. Acupuncture is safe, effective, and is one of the most commonly studied pain-relieving alternatives to traditional medication available.
Regardless of where you are experiencing nerve pain, there is hope for a brighter tomorrow. Call our office today or schedule your consultation online to find out whether chiropractic care or acupuncture is right for you.