Pinched nerves can be quite common, especially for people who have chronic back pain. A nerve anywhere in the body may be pinched, and cause chronic pain and possibly immobility. There are multiple treatments for nerve pain, many of them non-invasive and focus on slowly rehabilitating the area affected by the pinched nerve. Pinched nerves have the ability to affect many regions throughout the body at once, leaving people in serious chronic pain on a daily basis. Rehabilitation methods depend on which nerve is pinched and where it is located in the body.
Definition of Pinched Nerve
Pinched nerves occur when surrounding tissues, such as bones, cartilage, muscles or tendons, bear down and put too much pressure on a nerve. The pressure impairs the nerve’s normal functioning ability, causing pain, numbness, weakness and tingling. Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body. Sometimes surgery is the only option to cure discomfort brought on by the malfunctioning nerve. Symptoms of a pinched nerve are numbness or decreased sensation in the pinched area, sharp or burning pain that extends outward, paresthesia, which is “pins and needles” tingling sensation in damaged area, as well as muscle weakness or twitching in affected area or frequent feeling that damaged area has “fallen asleep,” such as extremities might when the blood flow is cut off.
Pinched Eye Nerve
The optic nerve, also known as the cranial nerve II, runs from the eyes to the brain. It may become pinched. When pinching of the occipital nerve or nerves in the neck occurs, it is known as Occipital neuralgia. Symptoms of Occipital neuralgia are numbness, tingling or pain around the base of the skull. It is also manifested by a distinct headache consisting of chronic piercing, throbbing or the feeling of an electrical shock confined to one side of the head. Typically, the pain begins in the neck and moves upward into one side of the head. It may also spread to both temples, making the pain feel like a tight band around the head.
Pinched Neck Nerve
A pinched nerve in the neck, also known as a cervical radiculopathy, can occur for various reasons such as spinal arthtitis, degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc or injury or trauma due to an accident. Nerves radiating from intervertebral areas can become compressed. This pressure on the nerve can affect surrounding areas like shoulders, arms, fingers and areas in the upper and lower back. Sometimes pain resulting from a pinched nerve may be incorrectly diagnosed as a muscle tear or injury. Tingling, numbing sensations, electrical pain, shooting, sharp or stabbing pain in the neck or surrounding regions of the body are all symptoms of a pinched nerve. Since a pinched neck nerve has the ability to affect surrounding areas, it may leave some sufferers immobile and in a great deal of chronic pain.
Pinched Nerve Treatment
Treatment of pinched nerves begins with resting the affected area. Sometimes doctors will have a patient wear a splint or brace to render the area immobile. If rest does not cure the affected area, then a doctor will recommend physical therapy that stretches the affected area and has a patient slowly regain functioning of the painful area by slow exercise and flexing of the muscles. If physical therapy does not work, then a doctor will prescribe an anti-inflammatory drug such as an NSAID to keep nerve swelling low and pain minimal. The last option considered is surgery to deaden or numb the nerve.
If you are experiencing pain from a pinched nerve, early intervention is key to helping yourself. With time the problem may progress and lea to serious disability and chronic day-to-day pain. Your doctor will know the best procedure to use to treat your pain and to keep you mobile and functioning healthily. Keep a positive outlook when in recovery and take all of your doctor’s advice to heart to reap the maximum benefits the medical field can offer. If certain activities cause the nerve pain to flair up, then try to avoid participation in these activities as rest is one of the first and most important steps in reducing pain and suffering from nerve damage.