Nerves cascading from the brain, throughout the spine and down to the legs, send essential signals to various parts of the body. When some of those nerves become constricted or pinched, pain is often the result. If you are living with a pinched nerve that’s making daily activities difficult to perform, the Santa Monica spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration would like to share what else you should know about your condition.
Don’t Ignore Symptoms
The sooner the source of your pain is diagnosed, the more likely you’ll respond to treatment. Early signs of pinched nerves surrounding your lumbar or cervical spine may include shooting pain in the legs, buttock, or thighs, sharp pains in the lower back, or pain relegated to the back of the neck. Untreated nerve compression that continues over a long period of time can result in swelling and scaring that may interfere with nerve functions. In some cases, the protective area around the nerve may be compromised, resulting in a breakdown of the nerve itself.
Causes of Pinched Nerve Pain
Pain, numbness or tingling related to irritated nerve roots leading to the sciatic nerve, the largest single nerve in the human body, is referred to as sciatic nerve. The cause of sciatica is usually a pinched nerved somewhere in the lower back, which is often caused by disc degeneration, disc herniation, lumbar spinal stenosis, or similar conditions affecting the spine. Additional causes of pinched nerve pain may include:
- Inflammation (placing pressure on nerve roots)
- Sleeping in uncomfortable positions
- Peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow (all caused by pinched nerves within the neck or arm affecting areas like the wrist, fingers or hand)
Remedies for a pinched nerve can range from over-the-counter medications to decompression surgery to relieve pressure on nerve roots. We’ve listed a few of the most common treatments below:
- Resting the injured area (to allow nerves to heal)
- NSAIDs (includes aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce swelling)
- Narcotics (to alleviate severe pain from pinched nerves)
- Physical therapy
- Surgery (when pain doesn’t respond to other treatments)
If you have a pinched nerve that is affecting your ability to work, perform daily tasks, or sleep comfortably, it may be time to schedule an in-person consultation with the Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. With a conservative approach to spinal care, you can trust our surgeons will explore all of your non-surgical options before looking at treatments like minimally invasive surgery for the spine. Call 310-828-7757 and take your first step toward a pain-free lifestyle.