A pinched nerve is usually not too serious. But if you’re experiencing pain from a pinched nerve, you want to feel better, quick.
When something puts too much pressure on a nerve, it interrupts the nerves function. Several conditions can cause this, including an injury, a medical condition or putting too much stress on a part of your body. We’ll work with you to find out the cause of your pinched nerve and then create a treatment plan to help you get back to an active, pain-free life.
A pinched nerve occurs when surrounding tissue, muscles, tendons or bones place pressure on a nearby nerve. Most of the time, rest and modified activities can relieve symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerve causes
A pinched nerve can be caused by several different conditions, including:
- Degenerative disease
- Herniated disc
- Physical stress on a body part
- Pregnancy or weight gain
- Spinal stenosis
Pinched nerve symptoms
Symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary based on the location and cause of the pinched nerve. They may include:
- Muscle spasms
- Sharp pain at the location of the pinched nerve
- Muscle weakness by the pinched nerve
Pinched nerve treatment
Your treatment will depend on the cause of the pinched nerve. Treatment may include:
- Physical therapy – The first step in managing pain and other symptoms of degenerative disc disease is physical therapy. A certified physical therapist will teach you stretches and strengthening exercises to improve flexibility and stability of the spine; strengthen muscles and reduce pain.
- Medicine – Over-the-counter and prescription medicine can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation and help you find comfort.
- Steroid injections – Corticosteroid injections reduce inflammation and help relieve pain caused by spinal stenosis.
- Microdiscectomy – This outpatient procedure removes a tiny bit of the herniated disc to relieve pressure on the surrounding nerve
- Laminectomy – More complex than a microdiscectomy, a laminectomy removes part or all of the back of vertebrae and thickened tissue around vertebrae to allow more room for the spinal cord. This helps relieve pressure on the affected nerve.
Pinched nerve risk factors
You may be at higher risk of a pinched nerve if you have any of the following conditions:
- Repetitive movements or overuse, such as from jobs or sports
- Thyroid disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Bone spurs
Pinched nerve prevention
A pinched nerve can’t be completely prevented, but you can take steps to lower your risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Strengthen back and core muscles
- Eat healthy
- Lift heavy objects with your legs
- Use good posture
Schedule an appointment
Relief from a pinched nerve starts with understanding what’s causing your pain. To learn more or make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist: Call TriHealth at 513 246 2300 or our orthopedic partner, Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, at 513 354 3700.