Nerves start from your brain, extend to your spinal cord, and send and receive important messages.
But applying too much pressure on your nerves may cause a pinched nerve that sends warning signals to your brain.
Pinched nerves typically occur because of damaged nerves and can cause pain, weakness, inflammation, and numbness. Let’s discuss pinched nerves and their causes down below:
A pinched nerve refers to compressed nerves caused by surrounding tissues pressing on nerve roots. It may result in pain, inflammation, numbness, and tingling in various parts of your body.
A pinched nerve may exist anywhere throughout your body. Typically, patients experience compressed nerves in the following areas:
• Arm and Elbow- Caused by the ulnar nerve
• Back and Upper Chest- Compressed thoracic and lumbar nerves
• Neck and Shoulder- Compressed cervical nerves
• Wrist and Hand- Caused by carpal tunnel syndrome
A pinched nerve typically occurs because of herniated disks.
Your vertebrae consist of soft disks that act as cushions between two bones. When these disks get damaged or slip out of place, they put too much pressure on nerves.
Various conditions may cause tissues or bones to put pressure (compression) on your nerves, such as:
• Aging leads to wear and tear of your spine and its discus
• Poor posture
• Repetitive motions
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Sudden injury from sports or accidents
Individuals with a pinched nerve often notice the pain as their only symptom. In some cases, you may experience other symptoms, such as:
• Dull ache
• Sharp pain
• Muscle weakness
• Pins and needle sensation
• Feeling like your hand/foot is asleep
Here we discuss the top symptoms and signs of pinched nerves in-depth:
Patients with a pinched nerve notice that pain usually radiates along the pathway of the nerves. For instance:
• A pinched nerve in your cervical spine may cause pain to radiate from the neck down to the shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers
• Pinched nerves in your lumbar spine may result in pain radiating from the back to the hip, buttock, leg, and foot
Moreover, you may experience sharp, dull, burning, or aching pain.
Pinched nerves may cause temporary or permanent numbness or loss of sensation in the affected area.
• Pinched nerves in your neck may cause numbness in your shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers
• Compressed nerves in your back may result in numbness in your leg, foot, buttock, or hips
Another common sign of a pinched nerve is a pinprick-like or pins and needles sensation along the affected pathway:
• Compressed nerves in your neck can cause tingling sensations in your shoulder, arm, hand, or finger
• Pinched nerves in your lower back may result in tingling sensations down your leg or foot
Non-surgical medical management is the first step to treating pinched nerves. It includes:
• Medicine, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Following a proper diet and exercise
• Physical therapy
• Wearing a soft collar around your neck (if advised by your doctor)
Let’s discuss several easy ways you can treat a pinched nerve in detail:
Your body needs adequate time to repair and heal damaged nerves. Getting extra sleep and rest ensures your body has spare time to alleviate symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Moreover, you must avoid overusing the damaged nerve.
Poor posture can cause pinched nerves to worsen. Sitting, standing, or working with an incorrect posture puts stress on your body.
This way, you can damage your spine and muscles, resulting in compressed nerves.
Try using adjustable chairs, cushions, changing your posture, and neck rests when sitting or working for prolonged periods to relieve pressure.
Making simple changes in your workstation can help you relieve pain associated with pinched nerves.
Create an ergonomic workstation by investing in a better mouse and keyboard that helps alleviate pressure in your hands and wrists. Moreover, ensure your computer monitor or laptop is at eye level to reduce neck pain.
Alternatively, you may use a standing workstation to keep your spine moving and flexible.
Massaging the affected areas is an excellent way of reducing physical pain. Use soothing oil and rub it all over your body to allow your muscles to relax.
Ensure you apply gentle pressure on the affected areas to relieve stress effectively. Avoid deep tissue massages since too much pressure may cause worsening of symptoms.
You may even try physical therapy by combining exercise, gentle stretches, yoga, and massages to relieve symptoms.
Alternatively, use ice and heat packs to reduce inflammation, swelling, and ache.
Combining hot and cold sensations promotes the healthy circulation of fresh blood in the affected area. This way, holding an ice pack or using a heating pad can help relieve pain.
Using an Inversion Table
Physical mobility, such as sitting, standing, exercising, and working, puts a lot of pressure on your spine, causing pinched nerves and muscle pain.
Investing in an inversion table is a safe and effective way to relieve spinal stress and alleviate pinched nerve-associated pain.
According to studies, chiropractic treatments are an excellent way of relieving pain in people with pinched nerves.
Chiropractic treatments are a safe and non-invasive way of realigning your spine and relieving pressure in your back. It’s also an excellent way of reducing inflammation.
If a pinched nerve doesn’t improve within several weeks or a couple of months, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Surgery may vary depending on the affected area:
• Removing bone spurs or a part of your herniated disk
• Severing the carpal ligament
Here we discuss several preventive measures you can take to avoid pinched nerves:
• Maintaining a Good Posture- Avoid crossing your legs or staying in one position for prolonged periods
• Incorporating Flexibility Exercises- Add strength and flexibility exercises or yoga within your everyday workouts
• Limiting Repetitive Activities- Take frequent breaks whenever you engage in repetitive and time-consuming activities
• Maintaining a Healthy Weight- Follow a healthy diet and exercise to avoid gaining or losing too much weight
Most people with a pinched nerve experience full recovery with simple home treatment. Plus, the outlook for a full recovery for individuals who undergo medical or surgical treatment is excellent.
Take the preventive measures and treatments mentioned above to relieve potential pinched nerve pain.
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