What is a Pinched Nerve?

What is a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve in the spine is a term that is loosely used to describe nerve compression caused by a condition impinging on it. Herniated disc material, bulging discs, spinal bone spurs, and various other conditions that affect the spine can lead to pinched nerve symptoms in the back or neck. Pain, numbness or tingling, and a pins and needles-type sensation are common signs that would suggest the possibility of a pinched nerve.

Where Does a Pinched Nerve Develop?

Nerve compression can occur in many locations throughout your body. Typical sites include your lower spine (lumbar region) and neck (cervical region).

Pinched nerve signs and symptoms may include numbness or reduced sensation in a certain area, other unpleasant sensations like tingling, pins and needles. Your limbs can often “fall asleep”.

A patient can also have muscle weakness in the affected area, as well as sharp, aching, or burning pain. The pain can radiate into other areas or body parts.

The symptoms can be worse during sleep.

A pinched nerve in the back often results in sciatica, pain that is felt in your buttocks and radiates down to the back of your upper leg are rarely below the knee. A pinched nerve in the neck may cause radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness felt in the arms and hand. Nerve compression is not restrained to spinal nerve roots alone. For example, a pinched nerve in your wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, pain and numbness in your hand and fingers.

Generally, there is no need to be worried about symptoms that are around for only a short time. If a nerve is compressed for only a short duration, it generally doesn’t cause permanent damage. And once the pressure is relieved, normal nerve functions are restored. However, if the symptoms stay for a long time and the pinched nerve is not relieved, much more serious symptoms such as chronic pain, nerve death, or muscle atrophy could occur. You should see your healthcare provider if such symptoms last for several days and didn’t go away after a couple of days of rest and over-the-counter pain relieving options.


Cervical Stenosis