Pinched Nerve: What is It?

Many people are likely familiar with the term “pinched nerve,” yet, few fully comprehend what this means. Chronic aches and pains are common. For the most part, those who suffer from persistent pain, numbness, or muscle weakness shrug off the problem, or accredit the condition to other illnesses. However, if you are living with these symptoms, you may be suffering from a pinched nerve.

What is a Pinched Nerve?

Pinch nerves occur when surrounding tissues cause increase nerve pressure. The pressure can result in sudden or persistent pain. There are varying degrees of pinched nerves. Some people experience pain that comes and goes, whereas others must cope with sharp muscles pains on a continuous basis.

Several factors can be attributed to a pinched nerve. These include pregnancy, injury, joint diseases, or repetitive joint movements. Although pinched nerves can occur in any part of the body, this condition commonly affects the areas extending from the shoulder to the hands, pelvic to the knees, base of the spine to the feet, nerves located in the feet, nerves between spinal discs, nerves located in the legs, and the sciatic nerve.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

� Tenderness or numbness in the limbs
� Burning or stabbing pain (pins and needles sensation)
� Muscles weakness in the affected areas

Causes of a Pinched Nerve

� Injury: Heavy lifting, contact sports, car accident, serious fall, etc

� Repetitive Motion: Assembly line jobs, playing an instrument, workouts, etc

� Joint Diseases: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, etc.

Diagnosing Pinched Nerve

To diagnose a pinched nerve, a physician may test muscle strength, response to sensation and reflexes. Furthermore, an EMG test is highly effective with determining nerve transfer speed in your arms and legs.

Treatment Options

There are many approaches to treating a pinched nerve. Some people forgo treatment and learn to live with the discomfort. On the other hand, if treatment is chosen, a pinched nerve usually heals within a few weeks.

Additional treatment options include ceasing any activity that is causing undue pressure on the nerve. If an activity cannot be stopped, patients might considering wearing a splint or brace for bonus support. Moreover, physical therapy is effective with toughening muscles, and anti-inflammatory drugs support healing and relieve pain.

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