Pinched nerves occur when the tissues surrounding a nerve root press against it, causing symptoms such as pain, tingling, and numbness to occur in a particular part of your body. They’re fairly common, with approximately 80 out of every 100,000 adults in the United States experiencing pinched nerves at some point in life. They occur more often among people aged 50 or older, but they can happen at any age.
Pinched nerves develop most frequently in the neck, upper middle back, or lower back, and certain factors are often responsible for causing them. Some of these include:
Inflammation: When muscles and joints become inflamed, they can compress nerve roots. In young people, inflammation can occur due to a variety of factors, such as stress, disease, injuries, or obesity. In older people, it can more commonly result from chronic conditions such as arthritis.
Bone spurs: As people get older, the spine can experience a significant amount of wear and tear, causing spinal discs to flatten due to a loss of water content. This causes spinal vertebrae to move closer together and bone spurs to grow. These spurs, which are small growths of bone, can place pressure on nerve roots, causing them to become pinched. Bone spurs can also grow in other parts of your body and cause pinched nerves to occur in other locations.
Pregnancy: When a person becomes pregnant, the hormone relaxin is released into their body, causing ligaments to loosen in preparation for childbirth. This causes the body’s center of gravity to shift and can lead to compression and inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The fetus itself can also contribute to pressure against this nerve.
If you’re experiencing pain due to a pinched nerve, you can receive high-quality treatment from a neurosurgeon at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. To schedule an appointment, please call (718) 206-6713.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.