Signs You Have a Pinched Nerve

Signs You Have a Pinched Nerve

Nerves run throughout your body and are responsible for your sense of touch. Your nervous system is also a messaging system in that your brain sends signals along your nerves to tell your muscles to contract and relax, to your lungs to breathe in and out, and for many other reasons.

All kinds of things can go wrong with your nerves, but the providers at Apex Medical Center see compressed or pinched nerves fairly often. Patients often come in because they have a problem with their neck, back, hand, or some other area and have no idea a pinched nerve is the culprit. 

In this post, we describe some of the signs you may experience if you have a pinched nerve and what kinds of treatments might help. 

How nerves get pinched

Your body is complicated and contains many different structures: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, organs, blood vessels, and fat, to name a few. All of those different structures move around, and sometimes, they put pressure on your nerves. 

One example is carpal tunnel syndrome. Your carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist that a large median nerve runs through. If the muscles or tendons surrounding the carpal tunnel become inflamed or irritated, they may swell and pressure your median nerve. 

Similar situations can occur in your neck, lower back, or other areas of your body, particularly around your joints. Any time a nerve is compressed, you’re likely to have symptoms. 

If your job requires you to make the same motion again and again, you’re at risk of developing a pinched nerve. Keeping your body in the same position for long periods and even your sleeping habits can lead to compressed nerves. Age, genetics, and other factors may also increase your risk. 

Symptoms of a pinched nerve

Some of the most common symptoms you may experience include: 

These symptoms might seem odd initially, but they may worsen over time or with particular movements. The sooner you get treatment for a pinched nerve, the better your outcome will likely be. 

Treatments for pinched nerves

The best and most effective treatment for a pinched nerve depends largely on its location. Your symptoms and the underlying cause of the problem may also play a role. 

Your provider may suggest you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and swelling. Steroid injections are also a common treatment. 

Physical therapy is a common approach because it can help you gain strength and flexibility in the affected area. In some cases, wearing a splint may help. Depending on many factors, surgery could be the best way to help you. 

If you’ve been living with discomfort like tingling and pain, schedule an appointment at Apex Medical Center's most convenient location. Our providers are happy to answer your questions and help you understand the cause of your symptoms.

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