8 Top Warning Signs You Have a Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerves are common, but they can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. At The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, we help people relieve pinched nerve pain. Here are eight of the most common symptoms you might experience if you have a pinched nerve.
1. Pain or burning sensations radiating down your leg
Sciatica is a type of low back pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed. When the nerve is pinched or compressed, you may experience pain, burning sensations, or a dull aching anywhere along the nerve pathway.
2. Pain extending from your neck down your arm
Nerve irritation can cause pain and other symptoms anywhere along the nerve pathway, including your shoulders, arms, and hands. Nerve compression in the neck portion of your spine, similar to sciatica, occurs when a nerve in your neck is compressed or pinched.
3. Weakness in legs
When your sciatic nerve or other nerves in your legs are pinched, signals from your brain to your muscles are disrupted, and you may experience weakness or difficulty performing certain movements (walking, sitting, standing, running, etc.).
4. Reduced grip strength
When a nerve in your hand is irritated or pinched, it may not be able to transmit all of the information to your brain, resulting in poor grip strength, writing difficulty, and other small-motor tasks.
Nerve compression essentially “shuts down” communication between the nerves in those areas, preventing your brain from “feeling” them. If you have nerve compression in your legs, arms, or other parts of your body, you may feel numb or have a complete lack of sensation.
6. Pins and needles sensations (paresthesia)
When a nerve is compressed or irritated, the signals between the nerve and the brain aren’t completely blocked, but they’re disrupted enough to cause these annoying symptoms. Paresthesia is a common early indicator of carpal tunnel syndrome.
7. Bowel or bladder incontinence
You may leak urine or bowel movement if a nerve in your lower back is severely compressed. Nerves in your back help you move your legs and feet, but they also control your bladder and bowels.
8. Pain that changes when you move position
When you move your position, it’s not uncommon for pain to lessen or worsen. For many people with sciatica, pain can be relieved by leaning forward from a sitting position, but when you lie on your side, it’s often worsened if you’re lying completely flat on your back.
Get relief for your pain — whatever the cause
The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas can help you get the pain relief you need. Good posture is one of the best defenses against back pain. Age-related back pain can stop you in your tracks. The first step to getting some answers is scheduling an appointment with an orthopedic specialist.
How do you fix a pinched nerve in your back?
There are nine different treatments.
- To relieve pain from a pinched nerve, change your posture.
- Use a standing workstation. Standing workstations are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason.
- Apply heat.
- Use ice.
- Elevate your legs.
Do pinched nerves go away on their own?
And don’t worry: Most pinched nerves go away on their own, but there are times when you should seek medical help for your back pain or neck pain caused by a pinched nerve. Keep an eye out for these severe symptoms and call a doctor if:
How long does a pinched nerve in back last?
A pinched nerve root can also cause radicular pain, which can be associated with or without radiculopathy. Symptoms of a pinched nerve usually improve after 6 to 12 weeks of nonsurgical treatment.
Can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve?
Can a Chiropractor Help with Pinched Nerve Pain? Yes, chiropractors can help with pinched nerve pain with a variety of safe and effective treatments, including spinal manipulation to relieve pressure from a herniated or bulging disc.
How should I sleep with a pinched nerve in my lower back?
Lay flat on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees, and keep your spine neutral. The pillow is important because it helps to maintain the curve in your lower back. You can also place a small, rolled up towel under the small of your back for added support.
Is pinched nerve serious?
A pinched nerve can become serious, causing chronic pain or even permanent nerve damage; fluid and swelling can cause irreversible nerve damage, so call your doctor if your symptoms worsen or don’t improve after a few days.
Does a pinched nerve come and go?
A tingling sensation, sometimes accompanied by numbness, is the most common pinched nerve symptom, which may come and go at first but becomes persistent over time.
What is a good painkiller for nerve pain?
The following are the most commonly prescribed medications for neuropathic pain:
- Amitriptyline u2013 used to treat headaches and depression. duloxetine u2013 used to treat bladder problems and depression. pregabalin and gabapentin u2013 used to treat epilepsy, headaches, and anxiety.
Is ice or heat better for a pinched nerve in back?
Hold an ice pack over the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time, three times a day to help reduce inflammation. Heat pads can be applied for a longer period, up to one hour, three times a day to help relieve pain.
Do muscle relaxers help a pinched nerve?
When treating a pinched nerve in the neck with medication, you can often get relief from your symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with the pain caused by nerve inflammation, and over-the-counter muscle relaxers can also help.
How can I treat a pinched nerve in my lower back at home?
Treatments that can be done at home
- Rest. You may find that certain seated positions or activities that cause you to twist or lift aggravate your pinched nerve.
- Ice and heat. Applying ice or heat for 20 minutes several times a day can help relieve pain and muscle spasms.
Is a hot bath good for a pinched nerve?
Heat and Ice Packs. Taking a hot bath can help relieve muscle tension, which could be the cause of your pinched nerve. When you apply heat to the area, the muscles around your nerve loosen up and relax.
Can a massage fix a pinched nerve?
If your pinched nerve is caused by muscle strain, a light Swedish massage (with your doctor’s permission) can help speed up the healing process; however, if it’s caused by a misaligned spine or a herniated disk, you might be better off seeing a chiropractor.
Will exercise help pinched nerve?
Mild pain can be relieved with gentle exercises that focus on stretching neck muscles and relieving pressure on the nerve. Do these exercises slowly to avoid further nerve damage. A physical therapist can demonstrate the best pinched nerve stretches for your symptoms.