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How Chiropractic Care Effectively Treats Nerve Pain 

Published Date: 
September 9, 2022
A woman is suffering from nerve pain.

Nerve pain can be debilitating. Using chiropractic care for nerve pain helps you manage the pain and improve your quality of life.

Nerve pain is one of the most common health concerns people experience. Even mild nerve pain can make your life miserable.

There are two main types of nerves in the body: motor nerves and sensory nerves. Motor nerves control muscle movement, while sensory nerves send information about touch, temperature, pain, and other sensations. When nerve damage occurs, it can cause problems with both types of nerves.

What should you know about nerve pain?

What Causes Nerve Pain?

Many different conditions can lead to nerve pain. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Damage to the nerves from an injury or surgery
  • Diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis that damage the nerves
  • Inflammation from arthritis or other inflammatory conditions
  • Compression of the nerves from things like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Other conditions that can cause nerve pain include shingles, fibromyalgia, and HIV/AIDS

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is a general term for a range of conditions that result from damage to the nervous system. It can include the peripheral nerves, which are the nerves that travel from the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body, as well as the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord.

Symptoms of neuropathy can vary depending on the type and cause of the condition. They can range from mild and barely noticeable to severe and debilitating. In some cases, neuropathy can lead to paralysis or death.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Neuropathy?

There are many different causes of neuropathy, including: 

  • Diabetes
  • Physical injury
  • Certain medications
  • Viral infections
  • Exposure to toxins

Symptoms of Injuries to the Nervous System

Nervous system injuries trigger a wide range of symptoms, including:

Tingling and Numbness

When there is damage to the nervous system, it can cause the nerve fibers to become frayed or damaged which can lead to a loss of sensation or feeling in the affected area.

Tingling and numbness are often the first signs something is wrong with the nervous system. If you experience these symptoms, see a doctor right away so that the damage can be diagnosed and treated.

One of two types of tingling typically occur:


Paresthesia is a sensation of pins and needles, or tingling, on the skin. It is usually caused by pressure on or damage to nerves in the body. Paresthesia can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis.


Dysesthesia is a condition that causes abnormal sensations in the skin. These can include tingling, burning, or prickling sensations. Dysesthesia can be caused by many conditions, including nerve damage, certain medications, and even anxiety or stress. In some cases, the exact cause of dysesthesia is unknown.

Shooting, Stabbing, or Burning Pain

Shooting, stabbing, and burning pain typically indicate neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is different from other types of pain. It feels a bit like touching a hot stove. With neuropathic pain, the damage to the nervous system means that the pain signals keep firing even when there's no reason for them to.

Back and Neck Pain

When the nervous system is damaged, it can cause several problems, including back and neck pain. The nervous system is responsible for sending messages to the brain telling it what is happening in the body. If there is damage to the nervous system, these messages may not be received correctly or at all, leading to many problems, including pain.

Pain in the Hands and Feet

No matter what the cause of nerve damage, the result is often the same: pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet. The pain can range from mildly annoying to debilitating, and it can make everyday activities very difficult. In severe cases, nerve damage can lead to paralysis.


There are many possible explanations for why damage to the nervous system can cause weakness: 

  • Damaged nerves are not able to send signals effectively to the muscles
  • Damage disrupts the normal balance of excitatory and inhibitory signals
  • Damage causes changes in muscle tone
  • Damage causes a loss of motor control


There are many reasons why damage to the nervous system can cause headaches. For example, headaches occur when the nervous system can no longer:

  • Send signals properly between the brain and the body
  • Regulate blood flow properly
  • Regulate the production of neurotransmitters

Slowed Reflexes

Reflexes are involuntary reactions that occur in response to a stimulus. They help us protect ourselves from danger and maintain our balance. For example, if you accidentally touch something hot, your reflexes will cause you to pull your hand away before you get burned.

If the nervous system is damaged, these reflexes can be slowed down or lost entirely, leading to many problems, including an increased risk of injury and difficulties with balance and coordination.

Hyper-Sensitivity to Touch

Nervous system damage can cause hyper-sensitivity to touch, which can be extremely painful because the damaged nerves send out signals misinterpreted by the brain as pain.

Temperature Sensitivity

The nervous system is responsible for transmitting information throughout the body, including the sensation of touch. When there is damage to the nervous system, this information may not be transmitted correctly, changing how the body perceives temperature, causing a person to feel either too hot or too cold, even when the temperature around them stays the same. This change in temperature perception can be uncomfortable and disruptive, making it difficult to function normally.

How Chiropractors Can Help with Nerve Pain

Chiropractors focus on treating the musculoskeletal system.

The musculoskeletal system includes the bones, muscles, and joints, which are all connected by nerves. When one of these components is not functioning properly, it can cause pain or other problems.

Chiropractors use many techniques to treat nerve pain symptoms, including adjustments, manipulation, and massage. These treatments can help to reduce inflammation and improve the range of motion.

Why Chiropractic Treatments for Nerve Pain Are Effective

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for nerve pain because it helps to reduce inflammation and improve nerve function. Chiropractic therapy and adjustments can help release pressure on the nerves and improve blood flow to the area. This can help to reduce pain and improve healing. Massage therapy, stretching, and ice/heat therapy can also help to reduce nerve pain.


Nerve damage can occur for many reasons, including trauma, inflammation, diabetes, and certain medications. The most common type of nerve damage is peripheral neuropathy, which usually affects the hands and feet. Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord (the peripheral nervous system).

No matter the cause, if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms of nerve damage that don’t ease up in a few days, it’s important to speak to a doctor.

Dr. Darren Faherty D.C.

In 2004, Dr. Darren Faherty graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from UWEC - University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. Dr. Darren continued education at the highly esteemed University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) where he obtained his chiropractic degree in 2007. He has been helping people recover from injuries and return to their normal lifestyles ever since.

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