BACK AND NECK PAIN RELIEF
WHAT IS PINCHED NERVE AND HOW IS IT CAUSED?
A pinched nerve is a term that refers to nerve injuries as a result of compression, constriction, or stretching. A pinched nerve may be caused by one or a combination of any of the following factors: poor posture, osteoarthritis, bone spurs, repetitive movements, obesity, and genetic factors.
WHERE DOES A PINCHED NERVE OCCUR AND WHAT SYMPTOMS MIGHT I NOTICE?
A pinched nerve can occur in virtually all parts of the body. In the spinal column, a herniated disc may put pressure on a nerve root that can cause pain to travel down the back of the leg, commonly referred to as sciatica. Another common type of pinched nerve is the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel in the wrist to enter the hand. Compression of this nerve may lead to pain and numbness in the hand and fingers, known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR?
A doctor should be consulted when the pain from the pinched nerve is affecting your quality of life.
HOW CAN A PHYSICIAN DETERMINE WHETHER I HAVE A PINCHED NERVE?
A pinched nerve diagnosis can be suspected when a physician evaluates symptoms and performs a comprehensive physical examination. This diagnosis is confirmed with a MRI or CT scan which reveals additional information about the extent of the problem.
HOW IS A PINCHED NERVE TREATED?
The symptoms of a pinched nerve can generally be managed by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, oral corticosteroids, over the counter or prescription pain medication, steroid injections, splints to limit motion, ice and heat therapy, and physical rehabilitation. If these treatment options are unsuccessful, a minimally invasive surgical option may be recommended on a case by case basis.