What is a Pinched Nerve?
People often confuse any back pain with the pain of a pinched nerve in the back. While back pain can be a symptom of many conditions, pinched nerves take place when there is too much pressure applied to a nerve by the surrounding tissues. In certain cases the tissue compressing the nerve may be bone or cartilage, while in other cases it may be due to muscle or tendons. This abundance of pressure interrupts the nerves proper function causing several symptoms including pain or tingling. Pinched nerves may take place in many points of the body such as the back, neck, legs, or wrists.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
There are many instances that cause nerve compression leaving countless ways that a person may develop a pinched nerve. Anything from sports injuries to sleeping in the wrong position to poor posture can all be the culprit of a pinched nerve and cause potential symptoms of a pinched nerve.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused when the median nerve which runs from the forearm to the palm of the hand is pressed or pinched at the wrist. The carpal tunnel, a narrow tunnel-like structure of ligaments and bones in the wrist, holds the median nerve and tendons. When the median nerve becomes compressed or swollen pain, weakness, or numbness in the hands or wrist may be present. In certain cases pain may also radiate up the arms as well. The most common cause of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is repetitive hand or wrist movement such as those from constant typing or computer work.
6 Common Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve:
- Muscles spasms, an involuntary contraction of a muscle, ranging from slight to moderate in pain.
- Decreased sensation or numbness in the affected area.
- Tingling sensations in the hands, feet, or legs. Some have also described it as feeling as if their hands or feet were continually falling asleep.
- If a nerve is pinched in the spinal cord you may experience a sharp or burning pain that may worsen when you sneeze or cough.
- Twitching or weakening of the muscles along the path of the affected nerve area.
- Hot or cold sensations in the affected area.
With lots of rest and the help of all natural pain relievers or ice packs some may recover from a pinched nerve within a few days to a week. If the symptoms do not subside it is important to seek chiropractic care to relieve the inflammation and pressure around the nerve so that you may return to normal function.
When a nerve is pinched for a short time and then relieved you usually regain normal function with no permanent damage. However if the pressure continues without treatment you run the risk of subjecting yourself to chronic pain along with permanent nerve damage.
Still have questions? Comment below or call our office at (615)503-9900.
photo by: planetc1