Pinched Nerve: Causes and Symptoms

A nerve can be pinched if surrounding tissues such as bone, cartilage or muscle places too much pressure on it. This disrupts the nerve's natural function, causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, weakness or tingling. It can occur in any number of sites in the body and happen to practically anyone. While most people will recover from a pinched nerve with some rest and some over-the-counter pain medication, some people may require surgery or other medical treatments.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
Some of the symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
  • Numbness, or the feeling that your hand or foot has "fallen asleep."
  • A sharp pain or burning ache that may radiate outward.
  • Tingling, or a "pins and needles" sensation in the affected area.
  • Muscle weakness in the affected area.
Causes of a Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve is caused by too much pressure being placed on a nerve by the surrounding tissues. For example, a herniated disk in your spine can compress a nerve root and cause pain or numbness. In other cases, pressure from muscles and tendons can pinch a nerve elsewhere in the body. Some of the more common causes of pinched nerves include:
  • An injury to the affected area.
  • Arthritis in the wrist.
  • A repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.
Some people are more prone to pinched nerves than others. Those who are obese, pregnant, diabetic, or have a history of bone spurs are more likely to experience a pinched nerve. Women are also more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome and pinched nerves as well. Most pinched nerves resolve themselves with some rest, and symptoms go away once the pressure on the nerve is relieved. Some people might require additional treatment such as surgery or an adjustment from a chiropractor to relieve the pain and ensure that there is no permanent damage. To learn more about pinched nerves and to know when to see a doctor, contact Dr. Silver today for an appointment.