The Difference Between a Muscle Pull, Pinched Nerve, and a Slipped Disc

When you are experiencing pain, the last thing you are thinking about is the technical reason for why the pain is occurring. But knowing the difference between a muscle pull, a pinched nerve, and a slipped disc can help you evaluate which kind of treatment you need. Read on to learn a little bit about each one.


A Pulled Muscle

We often throw around the term “pulled muscle”. A muscle pull, or a muscle strain, refers to damage to a muscle or its attached tendons. When you pull a muscle, it puts pressure on the surrounding tendons and ligaments. In some cases, it can even break blood vessels, which results in bruising or discoloration of the skin. The symptoms of a muscle pull are swelling, pain when that muscle is used, weakness of the muscle or surrounding ligaments, or complete loss of muscle mobility. Most of the time muscle pulls heal quickly, sometimes within 24 hours, but sometimes they may take longer.

A Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve occurs when there is too much pressure on the nerve. This pressure can come from bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons. The intense pressure disrupts the function of the nerve which causes pain, tingling, or weakness. Sometimes an extremely tight muscle can pinch a nerve and chiropractic adjustments can help loosen the muscle and relieve the pressure on the nerve.

A Slipped Disc

Your spine is made up of stacked bones called vertebrae. These bones are cushioned by discs. Discs have the job of protecting the vertebrae by absorbing shocks from walking, lifting, and twisting. Each disc is made up of a gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. When you experience an injury, the inner portion can protrude through the outer ring. This is called a slipped, herniated, or prolapsed disc. A slipped disc can be extremely painful, and make bending, sitting, or even standing uncomfortable. Slipped discs should be treated by a chiropractor.


If you are experiencing a muscle pull, a pinched nerve or a slipped disc, the chiropractors at Posture Doc can help. Call for an appointment today!