What Happens When You Get a Pinched Nerve?
The Pain of a Pinched Nerve
Pain is something we all experience in life. Pain is usually a sign that something is wrong inside our bodies and that there is an injury of some kind that needs to be addressed.
Many symptoms of pain that are not caused by physical trauma like a cut or wound or a broken bone are caused by damage that has been done to the nerves. Pinched nerves are one of the most common causes of temporary as well a chronic pain in people today. Nerves can get pinched in many ways and the pain can arise in any area of the body, though the most common is neck and back pain.
Millions of Americans suffer from ongoing back pain and many millions more live with frequent or reoccurring back pain. It’s the leading cause of disability in people younger than 45, and many things can cause it, including a trapped nerve or pinched nerve in the back. When it comes to taking care of your back and protecting yourself against back pain, it is important to understand how your nerves were damaged and what can be done to correct the problem and relieve the pain you are experiencing. Here at the Pain Relief Institute, we understand how debilitating pinched nerve pain can be and we want to help you get back to enjoying life, pain free!
Pinched Nerve Overview
A pinched nerve happens as the result of too much pressure being applied to a nerve and the neighboring tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons, digging into the nerve. This pressure disrupts the nerve’s function, causing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness.
“A pinched nerve can occur at a number of sites in your body. A herniated disk in your lower spine, for example, may put pressure on a nerve root, causing pain that radiates down the back of your leg. Likewise, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to pain and numbness in your hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome). With rest and other conservative treatments, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks. Sometimes, surgery is needed to relieve pain from a pinched nerve” (Mayo Clinic).
Pinched Nerve Symptoms
Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
- Numbness or decreased sensation in areas at the end of the nerve
- Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate from the initial injury
- Tingling, pins and needles sensations, and stabbing pain
- Muscle weakness and loss of mobility in the affected area
- Frequent feeling that extremities or parts of the body have fallen asleep
- The problems related to a pinched nerve may be worse when you’re sleeping
When to See a Doctor
Pain happens to everyone, and pain that is minor is not always something to see a doctor about. However, a pinched nerve can quickly go from annoying to detrimental, so you need to see your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last for several days, do not respond to rest and over the counter pain pills, or go away and come back frequently week to week.
Common Causes of a Pinched Nerve
“A pinched nerve occurs when there is ‘compression’ (pressure) on a nerve. The pressure may be the result of repetitive motions. Or it may happen from holding your body in one position for long periods, such as keeping elbows bent while sleeping. Nerves are most vulnerable at places in your body where they travel through narrow spaces but have little soft tissue to protect them” (WebMD). Nerve compression often occurs when the nerve is pressed between tissues such as:
A number of conditions can result in compression of nerves, including:
- Injury of some kind such as compression or impact injury
- Rheumatoid or osteoarthritis or degenerative arthritis
- Stress and injury caused by repetitive work
- Hobbies or sports activities that stress the body
- Obesity and carrying around extra weight
If a nerve is pinched for only a short time, there’s usually no permanent damage, and when the presser is relieved and the condition that caused the pinched nerve is corrected, the pain and other symptoms usually go away. However, if the pressure continues, chronic pain and permanent nerve damage can occur. This is why it is important to take care of your body and speak with your doctor about any pain, weakness, numbness or other troubling symptoms you may be experiencing.
Contact the Pain Relief Institute Today
No matter what your needs are, our pain management clinic is here to help! We will help pinpoint the causes of joint pain and find the solution you want and need to live pain-free once again! Call the Pain Relief Institute today and let our pain center help you find the relief you need an help you get back to living your life on your terms, free from pain!