What is a pinched nerve? A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve in the body is compressed by surrounding tissues. A nerve can be compressed by ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage or bone. The pressure disrupts the nerve’s normal functioning and leads to shooting pain, numbness, tingling, burning, stiffness and weakness in different areas of the body.
A pinched nerve can develop anywhere in the body, but most originate in the neck, mid/low back, and wrist.
Compressed nerves can be very painful, but most cases are entirely treatable. Many people fully recover normal nerve functioning with non-surgical measures. Keep reading to learn more about your treatment options for a pinched nerve.
There are several causes that lead to a pinched nerve. In the spine, pinched nerves are commonly caused by a bone spur, bulging disc, or herniated disc pressing against nearby spinal nerves. Repetitive activities, traumatic accidents (falls, car accidents, sports accidents), obesity, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes are other factors that can cause pressure, inflammation and swelling that leads to compressed nerves.
Most cases of pinched nerves are treatable with a combination of at-home and medical treatments. Your doctor will prescribe one or more of the following:
The average recovery period is 4-6 weeks for the damaged nerve to heal completely. See your doctor if you continue to have symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness that stay the same or worsen after trying non-surgical treatments. Without effective treatment, a pinched nerve can lead to chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.
If non-surgical treatments aren’t effective, surgery may be the next step. Decompression surgeries aim to remove pressure from the compressed nerve. Spine decompression and carpal tunnel release are two of the most common types of surgery performed on pinched nerves.
Today, many decompression procedures can be performed as minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive procedures require much smaller incisions and cause less damage to surrounding soft tissues. Less invasive surgeries also have faster rehabilitation and recovery periods.
There are several measures you can take at home to reduce your risk of developing a pinched nerve.
Whether you’re suffering from an acute injury or chronic pain, Integrity Spine and Orthopedics has the orthopedic care, pain management, sports medicine, and minimally invasive surgery services to help you to get back on your feet and back to doing the activities you love.
Call us today or reach out online to schedule your first appointment in our Jacksonville, FL clinic.