Pinched Nerve

Understanding The Pinched Nerve

A woman holds her neck and lower backLife is what we make of it. We live hard, we play hard, and we work hard. At some point, however, all of that may come back to haunt us in the form of some sort of injury, especially as we grow older. The most common of these mysterious maladies is the pinched nerve, a condition not easily diagnosed because it affects the major nerves, often radiating pain in locations far from the actual injury site.

If you suffer from chronic pain in the lower back, or shooting pains throughout your body, you may have a pinched nerve. At Lakeland Spine Center we can help with the diagnosis and treatment. Contact us today for an immediate appointment.

Common Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

Weakness: patients suffering from a pinched nerve will often experience profound weakness in an extremity, like an arm or leg. There will be a definite loss of muscle strength, and may exhibit signs like trembling or spasms.

Tenderness: the area of pain will exhibit some tenderness to the touch, usually a sign that the nerves are inflamed in that area.

Odd sensations: these include feelings of numbness, prickliness like pins and needles, burning sensations and waves of stabbing pains that range from just uncomfortable to brief moments of acute pain, localized to one area at a time.

Causes

This condition is often caused by overexertion through physical activities, like sports or simply working too hard. Aging is another major culprit leading to this condition, especially since bones tend to thicken over time as we age. The thicker they get, especially along the spine, can lead to nerves being compressed, constricted or stretched.

Injuries to the neck area, shoulder, or lower back can also lead to nerves becoming pinched, because it is far too easy to shift those smaller bones located throughout the cervical column out of place, pushing them up against the many nerve bundles that line that area. There are also a host of medical conditions that can cause this condition to develop as well, like arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis and herniated discs.

Pinched Nerve Treatment

The key to any effective treatment plan is to locate the exact spot where the nerves have become compressed or pinched. Without that, the best that can be done is to alleviate the pain associated with this condition. Once the affected area has been located, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy can be done to gently manipulate the nerve back to a normal, uncompressed state.

Medications like corticosteroids can bring relief to pinched nerve sufferers, as can higher strength pain relievers. Surgery is only considered to be a last option, and will only be done to permanently relieve the pressure, if other means have no lasting effect on the nerve.