A pinched nerve is a common cause of neck and back pain. But what’s really going on? Within the tight quarters of the spinal canal, many sensitive nerve roots pass through tiny openings as they branch away from the spinal cord to carry vital sensory information and movement instructions from the brain to the rest of the body. If a spinal nerve root becomes pinched, or compressed, by a bulging disc, herniated disc material, spinal bone spur, or thickened ligament, the nerve’s normal function may be impaired. Additionally, a pinched nerve can transmit erroneous signals that cause pain and other symptoms in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
The key to finding effective relief from the symptoms of a pinched nerve is an accurate diagnosis. At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, you can consult with a board-certified, fellowship-trained physician who can identify the source of your nerve compression and suggest an appropriate treatment plan to address it and get you back into the game.
What Are the Signs of a Pinched Spinal Nerve?
Depending on the location of a pinched nerve and the severity of the compression, a variety of uncomfortable symptoms can develop. In addition to neck or back pain, a pinched nerve can potentially cause muscle weakness, numbness, and pins-and-needles sensations that radiate down an arm or leg (radiculopathy). A common type of radiculopathy is sciatica, which affects the lower body and occurs when the large sciatic nerve is compressed at the point where it branches away from the lower back (lumbar spine).
How Is a Pinched Spinal Nerve Treated?
Conservative therapies such as medications and physical therapy can often help relieve mild to moderate discomfort caused by a pinched nerve. Usually, spine surgery is not considered unless the pain is debilitating or a pinched nerve has led to a medical emergency, such as bladder or bowel incontinence.
At Premier Bone & Joint Centers, we offer a comprehensive range of treatment options—both conservative and surgical—for pinched spinal nerves. Our spine specialists can confirm your diagnosis and make individualized recommendations for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our satellite clinic in Riverton, WY.