Our nerves are specialized cells that carry important messages throughout our bodies in the form of tiny electrical signals. When too much pressure is applied to our nerves by surrounding tissues, ligaments or bones, it can result in a pinched – or compressed nerve.
A pinched nerve can occur in various parts of our bodies and they can cause radiating pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. Damage from a pinched nerve may be minor or severe. It may cause temporary or long-lasting problems.
Pinched nerve signs and symptoms include:
- Numbness or decreased sensation in the area supplied by the nerve
- Sharp, aching or burning pain, which may radiate outward
- Tingling, pins and needles sensations
- Muscle weakness in the affected area
- Frequent feeling that a foot or hand has “fallen asleep”
Symptoms may worsen when attempting certain movements, such as turning your head or straining your neck. Problems may also become worse while sleeping.
Certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of a pinched nerve. These include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Thyroid disease
A pinched nerve can also occur as the result of an injury or from repetitive activities. Conversely, long periods of inactivity or lying down can also cause the problem.
Maintaining a healthy weight, stretching regularly, avoiding repetitive motions and practicing good posture are some tips to avoid developing a pinched nerve.
With rest and other conservative treatments, such as taking over-the-counter medications, most people recover from a pinched nerve within a few days or weeks
See your doctor if the signs and symptoms of a pinched nerve last longer or don’t respond to self-care measures. Your doctor can provide treatment options to shrink swollen tissue around the nerve. Treatment options may include anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or surgery.
To make an appointment to see a doctor at Jamaica Hospital to treat a pinched nerve, please call 718-206-7001.
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.