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What is Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve in the spine occurs when soft or hard tissue in your spine puts abnormal pressure on a nearby nerve.
What are the symptoms of Pinched Nerve ?
The symptoms of a pinched nerve depend on two basic factors: the location or type of the damaged nerve and the amount of pressure placed on that nerve. Common symptoms include:
Common symptoms of Pinched Nerve include:
- In the lumbar spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. If impingement affects one of the roots of your sciatic nerve, you can develop sciatica, which is characterized by localized or radiating pain, numbness, or other uncomfortable sensations in the lower body
- In the cervical spine: pain, numbness, tingling, burning, and weakness in the neck, arms, hands, and sometimes in the head
- In the thoracic spine (less common): pain, tingling, or numbness in the upper or mid back, radiating through the stomach or chest, which patients often confuse for cardiovascular problems
Prior to having a surgical procedure to treat your pinched nerve, conservative measures such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and steroid injections should be attempted. If these measures do not meaningfully relieve your pain, a North American Spine procedure could be a better option to provide long-term relief.
What are the causes of Pinched Nerve?
There are many causes of pinched nerves. Repetitive stress and load-bearing, as well as one-time injuries, are common causes. Obesity, and pregnancy have also been shown to cause pinched nerves. The condition may also result from an underlying primary condition like arthritis, diabetes, and bone spurs.
Additional common Pinched Nerve causes include:
- Age-related wear and tear, which can lead to Degenerative Disc Disease
- Back or neck strain due to repetitive physical activity, poor posture, imbalances in the musculature, or heavy lifting
- Direct physical injuries such as a car accident or fall
- Genetics, whether or not the symptoms appeared in your parents
In scoliosis treatments, your physician will first seek to understand if your scoliosis is due to an underlying cause, and if that cause can be fixed. Non-invasive measures like bracing may be attempted, but some cases will require corrective, or pain- relieving, surgery.
What is the treatment like for Pinched Nerve?
Treatment and procedure options for Pinched Nerve range from conservative options like injections to more intensive procedures like spinal fusions.
Conservative Options Conservative treatment options include nerve root blocks and steroid injections. These are designed to provide temporary relief (up to one year), and you may elect to have the procedure done multiple times. Other conservative strategies may include the placement of a spinal cord stimulator–or STIM–which is designed not to correct the underlying degeneration, but to lessen the pain the condition causes.
Decompression Decompression may be used for cases in which the structural integrity of the vertebrae or spinal cord is not threatened. These procedures concentrate on freeing entrapped nerves, typically be enlarging the space through which nerves pass. Depending on the demands of the procedure and your unique physiology, a special surgical laser may be used.
Fusion/Stablization Fusion, also called stabilization, procedures may be used when the stability of the spine or vertebrae are compromised or threatened. In some of these cases, more than one harmful condition may exist. While these procedures are minimally invasive and enjoy a high success rate, some patients may be required to stay overnight for observation.
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