Pinched Nerve Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of a pinched nerve may include shooting pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Some patients also complain parts of their body, such as their feet or hands falling asleep. This is one of your first signs that something may not be right and you should seek a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve can be felt quite a distance from the point of pressure. For instance, a pinched nerve in the lumbar spine may produce pinched nerve symptoms in the calf. Unlike symptoms of other spinal conditions, the signs of a pinched nerve may worsen while the patient is sleeping.

Early diagnosis and treatment of a pinched nerve is essential. If left untreated for an extended period, permanent nerve complications may arise. An accurate diagnosis is essential for pinched nerve treatment.

Cervical Pinched Nerve Symptoms

  • C5 Nerve root - shoulder pain and weakness in the deltoid muscle. Numbness in the shoulder may also be present.
  • C6 Nerve root - weakness in the biceps and wrist extensors with pain and/or numbness radiating down the arms into the thumb.
  • C7 Nerve root - pain and/or numbness that radiates down the arm and into the middle finger.
  • C8 Nerve root - loss of coordination in the hand as well as pain and/or numbness that radiates down the arm and to the outside of the hand.

Lumbar Pinched Nerve Symptoms

  • L5 Nerve root - loss of coordination in your foot and toes. Numbness the is felt on top of the foot may also be present.
  • S1 Nerve root - weakness in the calf muscle that is responsible for the strength in foot push off. Pain and numbness may also be felt in the outside of the foot.
  • L2, L3, L4 Nerve roots - Symptoms are similar to those observed in sciatica. More information may be found on our sciatica symptoms page.

The Importance of Treating Pinched Nerve Symptoms Early

If pinched nerve treatment is not started early and the source is not removed, severe nerve damage. After extended periods of constriction, nerve death might even occur, which could lead to loss of muscle function. Muscle atrophy (decrease of muscle mass) and loss of reflexes and motor function are more severe pinched nerve symptoms. If you are experiencing these signs of a pinched nerve, you should seek medical direction immediately.

In general, if you show signs of a pinched nerve and symptoms have not improved after several days of self-care, we advise you to make an appointment to see your doctor.