Every thought and movement in your life occurs through your brain and spinal cord, which is collectively known as the central nervous system. Your spinal column (made up of your vertebra) acts as the armor and pathway for your spinal cord to travel down and split into the nerves that reach every cell of your body. Every moment millions of messages and bits of information are moving along your spinal cord to maintain the delicate balance between your brain and body.
Your body is built to move. Every spinal disc and joint is designed to help you sit, stand, run and well…move! Your discs are soft enough to flex as you bend forward and back. The spinal facet joints slide as you turn and twist. The ligament-connected spinal bones keep you supported as your muscles push and pull. It’s an incredibly strong and resilient system when you stop and think about it!
If you’ve had neck or back pain that you could pinpoint with your finger, or experienced sharp pains when you move, it may be related to the facet joints of your spine. It’s easy to think of your facet joints like the “knuckles” of your spine. They are small joints and have a capsule and cartilage pad that glides and slides, allowing your spine to move.
Bottom Line: Pinched nerves are not exactly what most people would call a good time. A pinched or compressed nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm or leg. It can be debilitating! When the nerves are leaving your spinal column they have very little protection. If a disc, ligament, or bone spur get near a nerve…ouch! The pain can start there and then travel the entire length of that nerve root resulting in pain that radiates into your arms and legs. Let’s just say that your nerves don’t like being pushed around. (more…)