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Muscle Pain or Nerve Irritation?

By Sara Butler

Muscle pain is a very common complaint when people come in to see their chiropractor. The trouble is that what most people think is muscle pain is actually nerve irritation since these conditions share many of the same symptoms. This is exactly why you shouldn’t dismiss any discomfort or pain you may be having as muscle pain. You should see your chiropractor to get a proper diagnosis and get yourself on the road to recovery. Here’s how you can tell if what you’re experiencing is muscle pain or nerve irritation and how your chiropractor can help.

Muscle Pain

You have a lot of muscles. As far as the Library of Congress is concerned, you have 650 skeletal muscles. If you count all the different types of muscles you have, then you have more like 840. But the muscles that normally cause people problems are the skeletal muscles, which are easy to strain or sprain. When you injure a muscle it can cause inflammation, but you can also experience pain from medications, disorders, or diseases.

Muscle pain doesn’t usually last a long time, and normally goes away once the injury is healed. The symptoms of muscle pain include:

  • Throbbing
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Cramping
  • Stiffness
  • Aching

You most certainly will experience muscle pain at certain points in your life, which makes it even more important to know the difference between muscle pain and nerve irritation.

Nerve Irritation

When you experience pain due to nerve irritation it usually lasts for quite a long time – it can be six months or more. It is caused by damage to the nerves and can be caused by many things, including:

  • Inflammation
  • Trauma
  • Chemicals
  • Compression of the nerves
  • Infections

When it comes to nerve pain, the most common symptoms are:

  • Tingling
  • Stinging
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Electric shock
  • Stabbing

One very common nerve irritation is a condition called sciatica. When you have sciatica, the sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back, across your buttocks, and then down each leg can become irritated, which then can cause symptoms in the leg.

When it comes to nerve irritation, symptoms usually don’t present themselves until the underlying issue has progressed significantly. This is why seeing a chiropractor regularly is so important. They can help address issues with nerve irritation before they cause larger problems and discomfort for you.

Don’t assume the pain or discomfort you’re feeling are from a muscle issue. See your chiropractor to find out exactly what it is and then take steps to resolve it.

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