A pinched nerve is a common complaint, and every year about 85 out of every 100,000 American adults suffers from one. Pinched nerves are most common in adults aged 50 and older due to arthritis or the wear and tear from age, but people of any age can experience them in different areas throughout the body. Pinched nerves cause a variety of symptoms and run the spectrum from pain, mild numbness and tingling to serious disability and weakness. The reason sensation is diminished in a certain area of the body is that the nerve supplies sensation to a specific area, but because it is constricted, it cannot do so.
Pinched nerves occur at numerous body sites, such as a herniated disc in the lower spine that puts pressure on a nerve root and causes pain radiating down the back of the leg. Another common type of pinched nerve pain is from carpal tunnel syndrome when a pinched nerve in the wrist causes hand pain and numbness.
The most common locations of pinched nerves are:
- Neck and shoulder
- Back and upper chest
- Arm and elbow, called cubital tunnel syndrome
- Wrist and hand, usually caused by carpal tunnel syndrome
What Can Be Done for a Pinched Nerve
The symptoms of pinched nerves can improve with time, normally within 6 weeks. However, pinched nerves can become serious and cause chronic pain or even permanent nerve damage. The most common prescribed treatment for a pinched nerve is to rest the affected area, and the location of the pinched nerve may require a splint or brace to immobilize it. Physical therapy, medications and surgery are the next steps. Surgery is the last resort when the symptoms of a pinched nerve do not improve within a few months of conservative treatments. Surgery may involve removing bone spurs or severing ligaments to allow more room for the pinched nerve to pass through it.
Contact Comprehensive Spine Institute
If you have a pinched nerve, our doctors at Comprehensive Spine Institute can help. We offer conservative and surgical treatments for patients with pinched nerves, and we can help you heal. Contact us today at (727) 300-2537 or reach out online to get in touch with us.