When a nerve is trapped at its root, the condition is called “pinched nerve”. The condition can be fatal as advanced pinched nerves can result in affecting the quality of the life and can result in permanent nerve damage. The nerve is like an optical fiber which has so many fibers encased in an outer sheath. When the nerve is pinched, the flow up and down the inside of the nerve is blocked which means a halt in the flow of nutrients. So, the membrane loses its ability to transmit charges and the nerve fiber may eventually die. When enough fibers stop working, a muscle may not contract and skin may feel numb.
What Causes Pinched Nerves?
A nerve can be pinched as it leaves the spine by a herniated disc or bone spurs that form from spinal arthritis. Another commonplace for pinched nerves is the carpal tunnel. This is a bottleneck area, through which all the finger flexor tendons and the median nerve must pass to the hand.
- Rheumatoid or wrist arthritis
- Hobbies or sports activities
- Stress from repetitive work
Symptoms Of Pinched Nerves
A pinched nerve in the low back usually is perceived as radiating down the leg. Here again, the symptoms the person experiences seem to be traveling into the leg along the usual path. This is the basis of referred pain.
- Muscle spasm in the back commonly accompanies pinched nerves and can be quite painful.
- Sometimes, nerves can be pinched and the only symptoms may be numbness and weakness in the arm or leg without pain.
- Other symptoms include tingling, burning, electric, and a hot/cold sensation.
Regardless of where the nerve is pinched, in the back, neck, or carpal tunnel, the patient will often feel similar symptoms of numbness in the hand. Because the brain does not know the difference between the beginning, middle, or end of a nerve, it only knows that it does not receive signals from the hand- at this point, the numbness begins.
The doctor will ask about your medical history and the symptoms and conduct a thorough physical examination. Some tests include:
- Nerve conduction study
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- High-resolution ultrasound.
Pinched Nerves can be treated in certain ways without surgery which involves:
- Physical therapy: It strengthens the back muscles and the core so that the spine can be supported.
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxers are used to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Steroids injections: The injections are used to relieve inflammation and swellings around the nerve roots.
There are some other treatments for the pinched nerves which are mostly casual treatments so if you think you woke up with a pinched nerve—or if you seem to have developed that pain over the course of the day—you do have some self-care options. The pain may be coming from a muscle spasm or strain that’s putting pressure on the nerve, so you can try relaxing your muscles.
- Alternating between heat and ice on the affected area: switch between them every 20 minutes, and remember to wrap the heat and ice packs in a towel before putting them on your skin.
- Taking a hot shower.
- Laying down with a rolled-up towel under your neck.
- Using a handheld massager.
- Getting a massage.
In Case Of Surgery
Some surgical treatments can be utilized to physically remove the tissue that is causing the constricting of the nerve. The surgery might be done to remove all parts of a herniated disc. It may include widening of the opening where a nerve root exits the spine. Few segments can be fused together in the spine in the spinal fusion.
Why Choose Mir Neurology and Spine Center?
- There are non-surgical and surgical treatments for the pinched nerves.
- Our doctors first examine the condition and prefer non-surgical treatment first. The preference will be given to a minimally invasive approach.
- We treat all types of pinched nerve conditions, such as the lower back and the upper back to mid-back pinched nerves. And both acute and severe forms.
- We plan a custom rehabilitation plan to get you back to your desired activities after the complete treatment.