The Science Behind That “Pins & Needles” Feeling

Pinching a nerve is one of the most dreaded feelings that we can experience in our bodies. Bringing with it, discomfort and severe pain, pinching a nerve is the epitome of unpleasant. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body that nerves are present, and this includes the spine. If this happens, because the spine and its nerves are so interconnected with everything, it can affect the way in which the arms, legs, fingers, wrist and neck function throughout the day.


Although the nerves are not actually pinched by anything, the terminology has stuck and is a recognizable symptom when describing a certain form of pain. Most commonly associated with nerve impingement and irritation, the nerves are trapped and send signals to the brain that a particular part of the body is in distress. Sensations of immense heat, or cold and pins and needles, are often the more common attributes of a pinched nerve; so too is shooting pain in the area when used for anything involving range of motion.

There are billions of nerve fibers in the body that are typically arranged in small bundles, the spinal column is one of the places in the body that has the most number of bundles. These nerves travel inside of the spinal column itself and end at the opening between the many vertebrae. Nerves are vital to our overall health and function, as without nerves, we could not see, hear, touch, taste or smell. Hot and cold would not be able to be differentiated between, and this would truly spell disaster for us in our everyday lives.

If the vertebrae in the spine are misaligned in any way, it can leave the door open for nerves to become compressed or stretched as they move out of place. The nerves within the spine are important not only for proper function of the extremities, but also for the health of them, as they send chemical nutrients throughout the body that are essential for muscle health.

Pinched nerves are often the results of irregular repetitive actions; some of the most common occurrences of pinched nerves come from things like a constant unnatural sleeping position, bad posture and sometimes even emotional stress. If not treated immediately, pinched nerves can become more and more weak, which can leave the function and overall health of the surrounding area in jeopardy.

Regular chiropractic adjustments can help to keep the spine in proper alignment and decrease the risk of pinched nerves. Talking to a doctor of chiropractic and discussing sleeping habits, posture and even diet and nutrition, can help to keep pinched nerves at bay. Visiting your local The Joint…the chiropractic place, can mean the difference between nerve distress and sitting easy. 

Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Alejandro Erickson

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.