It’s a complicated question. Nerves go to every inch of your body, and every one of those nerves exists between two of the vertebrae in your spine. If you have a spinal problem that is pinching or irritating a nerve, you may feel pain in one specific area OR it may hurt along the entire length of that nerve. This is the type of problem that I treat. As a board certified chiropractic neurologist, I am absolutely a nerve doctor.
Remember the leak in my kitchen ceiling? It’s not a ceiling problem… That’s just where it showed up. The leak started 40 feet away, ran along a rafter, then a pipe for the exhaust fan, then dripped down to my ceiling. I had a flashing problem 40 feet away, not a ceiling problem.
If your bedside lamp has a break in the wire, it can be a break at any point from the plug to the light bulb but it’s gonna show up at the bulb. That light bulb will either get really bright the second before it blows, or it simply goes out.
The same thing happens with nerves. You can pinch one and have searing pain that drops you to the floor, or you can pinch one and have numbness.
What you should do about it?
The very best news about a pinched nerve is that less than 1% of those are surgical cases. The other 99+% need conservative care. You need spinal realignment, physical therapy, and rehab – and maybe therapeutic massage and some Class 4 laser therapy, too.