When people describe a pinched nerve they are usually thinking of 1 of 2 different types of problems. A compression lesion (an actual pinched nerve) or a facilitative lesion. Both of which can be helped by chiropractic.
When a nerve is squeezed or compressed it is called a "pinched nerve". This can be caused by spinal misalignments, bulging or herniated discs, or other factors. The increased pressure on the nerve causes inflammation, pain, and sometimes muscle spasms. The pressure on the nerve must be relieved in order to alleviate the pain. An examination can reveal the cause of the pain, and an adjustment can relieve the pain by properly aligning the spine and addressing the cause of the pain. If not taken care of a pinched nerve will cause numbness, tingling, and eventual muscle weakness as the funciton of the nerve is compromised.
Most of the time people who complain about a pinched nerve describe it as a sharp pain along their spine or into their shoulders. These symptoms are usually from when the nerve root is stretched, twisted or chafed (think: hard tissue rubbing on soft tissue). Many times this follows a muscle sprain or strain.