Numbness & Tingling

Delicate nerve tissue is susceptible to irritation as it exits the spine en route to other parts of the body.

Nerve Irritation

Numbness and tingling can occur with nerve damage or irritation. The most common nerve injury is an impingement or “pinching” of the nerve. Spinal nerve impingement occurs when a nerve is crowded between two spinal bones, and then compressed by a bulging disc or skeletal progression.

In addition to impingement, nerves can also affix to surrounding soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, and fascia). Typically, this is the result of repetitive motion injuries. We call this a “trapped” nerve.

“Pinched” Nerve

When a nerve exits the spine, it can lodge between two bones (subluxation) or constrict by an unhealthy disc, resulting in numbness and tingling in various parts of the body. The area in which you experience such symptoms is indicative of the location of the pinched nerve. A pinched nerve in the neck often manifests in the shoulders, arms or hands. Similarly, an impingement in the lower back can result in numbness and tingling down the legs and into the feet.

Treatment for “Pinched” Nerves

Chiropractic adjustments can correct the nerve irritation associated with joint dysfunction or bone malposition. By applying careful and controlled pressure, joints are restored to their standard position and motion, and painful nerve pinching is swiftly relieved.

Conversely, nerve impingement resulting from disc injury requires supplementary treatment methods. The McKenzie Protocol and DTS Spinal Decompression Therapy are two ultramodern and effective techniques available in our office. The objective of the McKenzie protocol is to reduce the painful symptoms of nerve impingement by “restructuring” the spinal disc by means of sustained pressure over consecutive therapeutic treatments. In another direction, the DTS Spinal Decompression Therapy technique implements a specialized device that gently separates the vertebral column. Both techniques are effective in providing immediate pain relief in conjunction with rehabilitative treatments to prevent recurrences.

Pinched Nerves: Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression with the DTS Spinal Decompression Machine

Non-invasive Spinal Decompression using the DTS Spinal Decompression Device provides relief to Pinched Nerve sufferers by gently separating the bones of the spine. The DTS Spinal Decompression Device is a non-invasive therapeutic technique that reverses the foremost sources of pinched nerves in the following ways:


The DTS Spinal Decompression Device gently separates the vertebral column; thus, allowing fluid to be “drawn” into the disc. The fluid expands the disc, which maintains an optimal distance between the vertebrae and allows the nerves to navigate without being pinched.

Herniated Disc (Disc Bulge Pressing on the Nerve):

Non-Surgical Spinal Disc Decompression gently reduces the pressure within spinal discs by carefully separating the vertebral column. When disc pressure decreases, a vacuum forms that draws the gelatinous center of the disc back into the disc. This vacuum-like action also draws vital oxygen and nutrients toward the injured discs, which initiates and streamlines the healing process. The Disc Bulge/Herniation then reduces in size, which alleviates spinal nerve pressure.

Stenosis (Bony Overgrowth That Constricts the Open Spaces of the Spine):

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal in the lumbar area. This can occur when bone, tissue, or both— develop in the crevices of the spinal bones; thus, irritating the nerves that diverge from the spinal cord. Among the consequences is pain, numbness, or weakness of the legs, feet and derriere. There are two remedial options to alleviate this degenerative process:

  • The surgical removal of the boney growth
  • Enlarging the “hole” to allow more room for the nerve

Both surgeries can be quite risky due to the proximity of both the spinal nerve and the spinal cord. Hence, non-invasive Spinal Decompression is a viable and effective alternative to such procedures. After the spinal vertebrae are separated and the nerves are once again able to “breathe,” the discs become immersed in fluid. This allows them to maintain adequate space between bones while relieving nerve pressure.

The DTS Spinal Decompression technique is computer-controlled to provide the gentle and painless decompression of the spinal discs. This non-invasion treatment method employs an oscillation cycle, meaning brief moments of tension and relaxation, which reduces muscle spasms. The latest DTS Spinal Decompression technologies also incorporate an angulated elongation method to target specific spinal discs. This allows for less force and more finesse in the spinal disc rehabilitation process.

“Trapped” Nerve

As they traverse the muscles en route to their respective destinations, nerves can become irritated and inflamed. We refer to this as a peripheral nerve entrapment. To allow for a smooth passageway through perpetually expanding and contracting muscle tissue, smooth sheaths provide a streamlined vessel for the nerves. Think of it as a subway tunnel protecting a train. When these nerves and their protective sheaths suffer damage, scar tissue is results. Unfortunately, this leads to the forming of adhesions between the sheath and the nerve, which causes numbness and tingling to exacerbate when the patient engages in small, repetitive motions.

How Do Nerves Become “Trapped” Within the Soft-Tissues?

The repetitive “rubbing” of sensitive, soft tissues or the chronic contraction of a damaged muscle can cause symptoms to progress. Both scenarios deprive the soft-tissue of vital oxygen due to the decreased “pumping” that occurs with healthy, optimal contraction and relaxation. This lack of oxygen triggers fibroblastic activity–the catalyst of scar tissue (fibrous tissue) formation. Unfortunately, the more fibrous tissue that accumulates, the more muscle oxygenation, flexibility and strength diminish. In short, repetitive motion injuries and cumulative trauma disorders could develop over months, years, and even decades, before the first symptom manifests! As the condition progresses, the “stickiness” of the soft tissues can expand, causing these tissues to become “stuck” together. When this happens in proximity to nerves, it can cause a peripheral entrapment——or, a pinched nerve.

Treatment for “Trapped” Nerves

When nerve tissue is trapped within or between muscles, the adhesions that cause the nerve to “stick” to the soft tissue must be removed. The most effective approach is the Active Release Technique (ART). Dr. Dothan employs this technique by applying specific pressure with his thumb or finger to the adhesion site while directing the injured appendage through its complete range of motion. Using this technique, the trapped tissue remains stationary as the nerve is detached from the adhesion. This treatment methodology often results in an immediate reduction in nerve tension and, consequently, immediate symptom relief.

Feel free to contact our chiropractic clinic for more details.

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