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Nerve pain is often caused by damage or irritation to the nerve. It can also be caused by the nerve being pinched or compressed by tissues or surrounding pieces of bone and connective tissue. Spinal stenosis is a common cause of nerve irritation that leads to pain and discomfort. Spinal stenosis occurs when the small holes (in the vertebra) the nerve travel through begin to narrow, limiting the nerve's ability to move. This results in irritation that can eventually lead to nerve pain. Diabetic neuropathy is also a common cause of nerve pain. This results from poor circulation and the nerves not receiving the nutrients they need to remain healthy.
Pinched nerves are the result of a portion of the nerve becoming trapped or compressed between two muscles or a muscle and bone. Chiropractic care can help relieve the discomfort of a pinched nerve by helping the muscles and bones return to their normal position. When bones and muscles shift or move, inflammation can occur. Inflammation can easily press on muscles, forcing them out of place or compressing them causing them to cut off circulation and pinch nerves. When a nerve is compressed or pinched, its blood supply diminishes resulting in a tingling feeling. If the blood supply remains low, the tingling will eventually turn to numbness.
Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves. When the nerves are deprived of oxygenated blood either through compression or poor circulation, the result is damage to the delicate myelin sheath that protects the actual nerve. As the myelin sheath continues to wear away, more and more of the nerve is exposed. The longer the nerve remains exposed, the more damage it receives. Over time, the resulting damage is severe enough to cause constant and unrelenting pain. The most common form f neuropathy is called diabetic neuropathy and is the result of the constantly-changing blood sugar levels and the blood's inability to carry sufficient amounts of oxygen.