A pinched nerve is a nerve or set of nerves that has been compressed beyond its elasticity.
Nerves extend from your spinal cord out to your extremities, so pinched nerves can affect any place in the body. Pinched nerve pain can be ever changing and difficult to place. It’s also difficult to describe the symptoms of pinched nerve pain.
What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve?
The feeling of a pinched nerve is unusual and can cause strange sensations in different parts of the body. Some common symptoms are:
- Sharp pain
- Radiating pain
- Pulling sensation
- Hot & cold sensations
The location in which you feel pain isn’t necessarily the location of your pinched nerve. A medical professional with expertise in nerve location is best equipped to identify the location of your pinched nerve.
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What are common areas for pinched nerves?
Open Areas in the Spine
The area where the nerves exit the spine is one of the most common areas that medical professionals find pinched nerves. The holes where the nerves exit get smaller as you age, and if swelling occurs, nerves tend to get pinched inside these holes.
Areas with scar tissue are at risk for nerve scarring. The scarring causes nerves to grow and make them more vulnerable to pinching.
Holes in the lumbar area are larger than in the rest of the spine, so pinching is slightly less common. However, bundles of nerves here are still prone to pinching, and it’s a dangerous area for degenerative disc disease. If the discs swell or fray, they can pinch nerves in the lumbar area.
What are common causes of a pinched nerve?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A ligament crosses your wrist that has a nerve that also crosses underneath the ligament. Repetitive activities that use that ligament cause it to increase in size, which can pinch the nerves that run along it.
If you leave a nerve under pressure for an extended amount of time, such as when you fall asleep in an uncomfortable position, your nerves won’t be able to fire. They won’t send information about feeling to your body parts until the blood returns to the area, but you may feel significant pain once it does.
How to treat a pinched nerve?
Most pinched nerves are temporary and will disappear with time. However, if you experience the more severe symptoms of a pinched nerve, you’ll need to seek the help of spine specialist in your area.