San Francisco chiropractor explains what a pinched nerve is:
Pinched nerve is not really a medical term. However, Chiropractors and MD's use this term to describe to patients what is happening to them. I guess what I am trying to say is, there is no such medical diagnosis as Pinched Nerves. But, like I said, doctors use this term between themselves, other doctors, and with patient's. Sorry if this seems confusing. So, what is a pinched nerve? Nerves are branches off of the spinal cord (which is an extension of the brain). Spinal nerves exit from in between the vertebrae, then branch out, like branches of a tree and connect to all your cells, tissues, glands, and organs, controlling their function. You have seven bones (vertebrae) in your neck (C1-C7). Your neck is called the cervical spine in the medical world, so the C is for cervical. Those seven cervical vertebrae under normal circumstances, stack on top of each other in such a way that it creates nice openings for the cervical nerve roots to exit the cervical spine. But, if those bones misalign or subluxate out of their normal position, they can offend and irritate the same nerves they were designed to protect when the are in the correct position. How do I know if a have a pinched nerve in the neck ?