What are pinched nerves?
The nervous system is responsible for coordinating all bodily functions. It is composed of the spinal cord, Autonomic nerves, peripheral nerves and finally is central controller; the brain. Through its extensive network the brain can communicate with the different parts of the body. There are countless nerves in the body transmitting electrical impulse signals to and from the brain. Nerves located outside the confines of the spinal cord and the brain are dubbed peripheral nerves as they are located close to outside the body. This makes them susceptible to environmental factors or conditions and unexpected complications such as numbness or pain. This may result from sustained compression forces that in severe cases causes permanent nerve damage. You would expect that this would only be limited to the neck and back region, but in truth any nerve can fall victim. Fact is very many people have at least at one point suffered from pinched nerves. Suffering from a pinch nerve can be quite a harrowing experience especially in old age if preventative health measures are not taken in time.
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How it actually happens.
Increased pressure causes a nerve ganglia (group of nerves) to be dysfunctional as their myelin sheath protective covering finds itself under unwanted stimulus. The brain then perceives a sense of numbness as the nerve is now not in the optimum condition to correctly send electrical impulses. Incorrect impulse transmission due to the inflammation of the nerve can lead to misleading tingling signals to be transmitted making you feel like that part of the body has gone to slumber. Failure to relieve this pressure will result in the sensation persisting.
If the pressure is relieved in time, it may take a few days to several weeks for the pain sensation to fully be lost. However, if it remains then peripheral nerves could wind up damaged permanently.
Common causes of pinched nerves.
As mentioned, pinched nerves are a result of increased sustained pressure on a cluster of nerves that are not used to such a load bearing. This sustained force could be a harmless activity such as crossing legs, using you elbows to support your head or lean on walls or counters. Any of these activities done repeatedly could lead to pressure related trauma to the particular nerve ganglion. Pain may also result from complications in the spine such as arthritis and discs slipping.
Another unexpected contributor to pinched nerves is a significant weight gain which increases vulnerability of certain nerves to pinched nerve related symptoms. Weight gain can be a side effect of pregnancy. Hypothyroidism as well can result in significant weight gain. It has been shown to also increase the body cells water retention functions creating conditions that are conducive for certain examples of pinched nerves to appear.
When weight gain is not involved, the other common denominator is habitual practices especially when using certain equipment such as typing on a computer daily or using a hammer. These repetitive actions over time lead to bulging around specific nerves.
As seen, almost anyone is susceptible to pinched nerves. It is important to take care and protect them from damage as without them, our daily routines could become quite a painful ordeal, especially in the later stages of life.
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