A pinched nerve can sometimes be difficult to locate, because the pain isn’t necessarily where the nerve is being pinched or pushed out of alignment. For example, a pinched nerve in the neck can cause pain down the length of the arm, and with little or no pain in the neck area. As with most pains, these pinched nerve problems should be diagnosed by your medical doctor, and his or her advice followed.
When a nerve has been pinched or compressed it may cause different symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, aching, soreness, or a sensation of burning, and depending where the compressed nerve is, these feelings can be felt close to the trapped nerve, or at a distance. For this reason, it is important to get the problem diagnosed correctly by your doctor.
For example, if the sciatic nerve is compressed, then the feelings of numbness or tingling etc could be felt anywhere from the lower back all the way down the leg and into the foot, because this is the path of the sciatic nerve. Because of this it is hard to know exactly where the real problem is, unless you have the appropriate medical qualifications.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another example of a pinched nerve causing pain, yet the pain isn’t really felt in the wrist where the problem usually is. Discomfort, pain and numbness can be felt in the hand and the fingers, and the pain can radiate up the whole arm too, making it difficult for the layman to know the source of the pain.
When you see your doctor, he or she will be able to tell you where the nerve is that is being pinched, and will then recommend treatment for this pinched nerve. This will involve reducing the compression around the nerve, perhaps with traction, or physiotherapy to loosen up the muscles around the nerve to lessen the pain and discomfort, and to try to reduce inflammation.
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Your doctor may recommend pain killers to help you, or perhaps anti- inflammatories, depending on the symptoms that you are experiencing. If there is a great deal of inflammation, then icing may be recommended to reduce that swelling.
The spinal area of the back is a common place for a pinched nerve because there are many nerves there that leave the central spinal cord through the spaces in the vertebrae. Any kind of trauma like a disk between 2 vertebrae collapsing (a herniated disc), or a bone spur, can result in a nerve being pinched, with the resulting symptoms mentioned above.
The treatment for pinched nerves do vary, and sometimes, just rest will solve the problem. A Tens Unit may help relieve the pain. For others, sometimes a cortisone shot is needed to relieve the pain and pressure around the nerve. However, if a bone spur has caused the pinched nerve, or a herniated disc results in a pinched nerve, then there may need to be surgery to correct the situation, but this is something that the doctors do not rush into since back surgery is a risky procedure because of the spinal column.
So, to conclude this post, if you think you have a pinch nerve or pinched nerves, then see your doctor as soon as you can so that you can start getting some relief from the symptoms, and get on with your life.