If bones, cartilage, muscles, or tendons apply too much pressure to a nerve, individuals may be experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
Muscle weakness in the affected area
Tingling, pins, and needles sensations (paresthesia)
Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
Sharp, aching, or burning pain, which may radiate outward
Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
Symptoms of a pinched nerve may worsen when patients are sleeping.
Causes of a Pinched Nerve
Patients with a herniated disc may have a bone or cartilage compressing a nerve root, leading to symptoms of a pinched nerve. In other cases, a pinched nerve may be caused by muscle or tendons.
Patients may also experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which include swollen tendon sheaths within the tunnel, enlarged bone that narrows the tunnel, and a thickened and degenerated ligament.
Other factors that may cause tissue to compress a nerve or nerves include:
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Rheumatoid or wrist arthritis
Stress from repetitive work
Hobbies or sports activities
If patients fail to seek treatment for symptoms of a pinched nerve, they may end up with chronic pain and permanent nerve damage.
The following factors can increase the risk of a pinched nerve:
Prolonged bed rest or lying down
Treatment Options for a Pinched Nerve
The right treatment for patients experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve will depend on the severity of their symptoms and their overall condition. Patients being treated at Central Nevada Regional Care may undergo joint and soft tissue injections, pain management therapy, and occupational medicine.
Joint and soft tissue injections may help alleviate pain from a pinched nerve. Injections offered at Central Nevada Regional Care include piriformis injections, epidural injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and trigger point injections.
Pain management therapy for a pinched nerve may encompass a range of treatments, such as hot and cold therapy, massage, cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, tai chi, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, beta-blockers, opioids, and antidepressants.
Some patients diagnosed with a pinched nerve may struggle to complete daily life activities and perform job duties. In these cases, occupational medicine specialists could help the patient adjust to the demands of the workplace as they obtain treatment for a pinched nerve.
Staff at Central Nevada Regional Care are also trained to help employers adapt the workplace to the limitations of employees experiencing symptoms of a pinched nerve. Occupational medicine can help both employers and injured employees create a plan that will benefit both.
Some patients may need advanced treatment for a pinched nerve. Advanced treatment may include physical therapy, chiropractic adjustment, and even surgery. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician at Central Nevada Regional Care to learn more about obtaining advanced treatment for a pinched nerve.
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