Dr. Kaliq Chang with Atlantic Spine Center explains common causes and offers...
Unless there is imminent danger that may cause permanent damage to your nerves function, initial treatment for a pinched nerve should not involve surgery. If you are still feeling considerable pain or other symptoms after you have attempted conservative treatments, surgery to correct the underlying issue that is compressing the nerve may be an option.
Initial treatment should consist of rest, ice packs, and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also termed NSAIDS. Most often a pinched nerve is being caused by inflammation compressing a nearby nerve; if you cure the inflammation, you should free the nerve.
Further treatment will include applying heat to the injury (at least 48-72 hours after it occurs) to stimulate blood flow to the area and encourage healing. Immobilizing the area with a brace can help to insure that movement does no further damage, but it is important to note that prolonged bracing could weaken muscles leading to further complications.
Stronger prescription medication may be required in some cases to better relieve inflammation or control pain with narcotics. Pain narcotics are not a permanent solutions to back problems as they only mask the underlying issue.
Additionally, physical therapy in combination with other pinched nerve remedies can assist to stretch and strengthen specific muscles in the body. Stretching and core muscle strengthening are pivotal in relieving pressure and maintaining proper spinal alignment. A physical therapist may also recommend activity modifications as part of your pinched nerve treatments to help you avoid painful motions.
Endoscopic spine procedures can be used to correct many of the conditions that cause chronic back pain or to repair failed previous surgeries.- Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD President, Atlantic Spine Center Read More about Dr.Liu