I am always asked “When should I come see you” or “When should I see a chiropractor”. These questions are not always clearly outlined by the chiropractic profession. If you ask 5 different chiropractors and you’ll probably get 5 different answers. For this blog, let us tackle “When should I see a chiropractor” based on my symptoms.
Numbing and tingling symptoms indicate there is a nerve issue (i.e. the nerve is not communicating correctly with the rest of the body). “Associated” nerve pain is credited towards the number 1 painful tissue which has led to our opioid epidemic. Long standing nerve pain is chronic pain. Left untreated, nerve pain can lead to a plethora of issues.
Constant pain is a sign of inflammation. This inflammation can be for 3 reasons: systemic inflammation (whole body), mechanical inflammation (from movement), and chemical inflammation (recent trauma). Inflammation, in any form, is a sign something or things are not working correctly in the body.
Radiating symptoms are another sign of hallmark nerve pain. This is typically considered the “pinched nerve” feeling leading to generic diagnoses such as: carpal tunnel, disc herniation, sciatica, piriformis syndrome. It is important to understand a nerve can be pinched anywhere along its path from the spine to its end branches in the hands and feet. It is important to identify where the pinch is and treat this location first to make the fastest and most profound impact. Often radiating symptoms + constant pain leads people to seek out a pain management clinic.
Pain/symptoms that feel better or worse with a movement or position (ie sitting) is a mechanical problem. You must match the right intervention (ie mechanical) with the right type of pain receptor (mechanical). No pain medication can fix a mechanical problem – it can only mask it for a while. An easy example in reverse is a chiropractor cannot adjust a person who just touched a hot stove and make them feel better. A mechanical intervention (adjusting) cannot “turn off” painful, burned tissue (thermal pain receptor) because the intervention does not match the pain receptor. Understanding a stop light approach to movement can be drastically helpful!
If you find yourself expressing any of these 4 symptoms, then give our chiropractic and physical rehab experts a call. We are here to help anyone in the greater Wichita, KS area; however, these 4 symptoms indicate a greater importance to seek care.
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