Pinched Nerve: Diagnosis and Treatment
A pinched nerve is caused by pressure on a nerve that prevents it from conducting signals to the brain. Back, neck, arm, and leg pains are common symptoms of this condition. Due to the mildness of the symptoms, self-care at home would often suffice. In addition, we will find out how to identify and treat a pinched nerve in this article.
Explore our detailed guide to the diagnosis and treatment of pinched nerves.
- Causes of Pinched Nerves
- Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
- Treatment for Pinched Nerves
- When To See a Doctor
Navigate to the section that interests you the most or read through the guide to learn about diagnosing and treating pinched nerves.
Causes of Pinched Nerves
A variety of ailments or traumas may cause a pinched nerve. Possible causes include bone spurs and herniated discs, which pressure the nerve. Some habits and routines may also impose strain on a nerve. A pinched nerve may occur due to poor sitting, standing, or walking posture. Sports injuries and other repetitive motion injuries may also cause a pinched nerve. In addition, the increased stress and weight of obesity may also strain surrounding nerves.
Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve
Because of the distress signals it delivers to the rest of the body, a pinched nerve may produce various localized symptoms, including tingling, numbness, burning pains, muscle fatigue, and more.
The risks of other health concerns are increased when a nerve is compressed. Symptoms of pinched nerves and carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and sciatica may overlap. Nerve compression may occur everywhere in the body, although it most often affects the neck, back, elbows, and wrists.
A diagnosis is arrived at by combining the patient’s responses to the doctor’s questions and the physical examination results. To rule out the possibility of a pinched nerve, your doctor may order various diagnostic procedures, including the following:
Your doctor may need tests to measure your fasting blood glucose or thyroid levels.
These pictures depict the arrangement of the bones and may aid in determining if a limitation or injury causes a pinched nerve.
Nerve Conduction Experiments
Electrodes will be surgically implanted on your skin to assess your electrical nerve impulses and the health of your muscles and nerves. The experiment records a little current as it travels down a neuron to examine the electrical impulses inside nerve transmissions. The test findings will tell your doctor whether or not you have nerve damage.
During an EMG, a needle electrode will be introduced through your skin and implanted into a number of your muscles. During the examination, the electrical activity of your muscles will be examined both at rest and during contraction.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that employs a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce comprehensive images of organs and other anatomical structures inside the human body. These images may be obtained from a variety of perspectives. If your doctor feels that the nerve root compression is causing your symptoms, they may recommend this test.
Treatment for Pinched Nerves
Many at-home therapies are available to relieve the discomfort caused by a pinched nerve. Here are a few examples of them:
Extra Sleep and Relaxing Time
Restful sleep is required to repair damaged nerves. Because sleep is when the body heals itself, providing it more time to resolve symptoms may speed the resolution. More sleep and relaxing the afflicted region may be required to allow the pinched nerve to heal independently.
If a nerve has been crushed, it must not be stressed during recovery. Overstressing a nerve may aggravate the harm it has already sustained. A person with a pinched nerve should avoid any movements that might exacerbate the nerve worse. Furthermore, individuals must concentrate on sleeping in a manner that lowers nerve tension.
Change of Posture
Bad posture may either cause a pinched nerve or aggravate an existing one. Excessive stress is placed on the body while sitting or standing for long periods with poor posture. If not treated, the tension on the spine and muscles may result in a pinched nerve. Cushions and adjustable chairs may help relieve nerve strain and promote healing when sitting.
Making changes to one’s work environment may aid people who suffer from pinched nerves. Using an ergonomic mouse and keyboard may assist in reducing stress on your hands and wrists. You may benefit by elevating your computer screen to eye level. A standing desk may help reduce back discomfort since it stimulates mobility and flexibility of the spine. Ergonomic workstations are appropriate for a wide range of nerve compression because they provide various postural options.
Mild stretching activities, such as yoga, may assist in relieving muscular tension in this area. Avoid stretching till it aches since it may aggravate your symptoms. To minimize additional nerve damage, one should discontinue physical activity at the first indication of pain or discomfort.
Massage or Physical Therapy
Massage treatment may help relieve both emotional and physical pressure. A full-body massage or mild pressure given locally around the issue location may both help relax the muscles and ease tension. A deep tissue massage may not be ideal since the additional pressure utilized during the massage may aggravate the disease. Physical therapy, which includes gentle exercise, massage, and stretches, may be beneficial for symptom alleviation.
If feasible, splint the injured region to avoid further nerve damage and expedite healing. This has been demonstrated to reduce strain on the nerves that supply the hands and wrists. Many patients have said that sleeping in their splints helped them fall and remain asleep. The splint will assist in relieving some of the nerve stress.
Elevate the Legs
People suffering from pinched nerves in their back may find comfort in raising their legs. This reduces the tension in the spine. Cushions placed below the knees may aid by angling the legs at a 45-degree angle to the torso.
Both Cold and Hot Compresses
In many situations, alternating hot and cold packs over the affected area may help reduce swelling and discomfort. If you have discomfort in a particular region, you may find relief by simultaneously administering heat and ice to the area. Applying an ice pack to the afflicted region thrice daily for 15 minutes can help decrease inflammation.
When to See a Doctor
When a nerve is pinched, it transmits information to the brain, and humans must pay attention to those signals. Pinched nerve pain that does not improve with physical therapy or lasts longer than a few days requires medical treatment by a physician.
To help our patients feel better, All-Star Chiropractic offers comprehensive chiropractic therapy for various ailments, including pinched nerves. Schedule an appointment with us today.