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How do you know if you have a pinched nerve?

September 19, 2017

What is a  Pinched  Nerve?

The term “pinched nerve” is used to describe the condition when a nerve is being  compressed by the surrounding tissues

What are some of the symptoms of a pinched nerve?

Some signs and symptoms associated with pinched nerves include changes in sensation or numbness along the distribution of the nerve.

Sometimes a burning pain that may have an aching or sharp quality can be associated with a pinched nerve.

When a nerve is pinched and not functioning properly, you may get the feeling that your foot or hand has fallen asleep.

 What causes a pinched nerve?

There are many causes of nerve compression. For instance, in the case of a herniated disc, the center of the disc is often protruding out into the spinal canal causing compression on a nerve or the spinal cord. In carpal tunnel syndrome,  thickening of ligaments, inflammation of  tendon  sheaths, and/or arthritic changes can cause pressure over the median nerve. Sometimes, repetitive stress is from work, hobbies, or other activities can cause thickening of tissues and pressure on nerves. Obesity is also associated with  increased incidence of nerve compression.

Sometimes inherent differences can lead to increase risk of certain problems. For instance, women tend to have smaller carpal tunnels so they are more prone to get carpal tunnel syndrome than men.

Women tend to also have increased risk of nerve compression during pregnancy because of water retention and weight gain during that time.

Inflammatory processes such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause changes in bones and joints as well as inflammatory changes in surrounding tissue that can compress nerves.

Having conditions like thyroid disease or diabetes can increase the likelihood of having nerve compression.

Sometimes occupational risk or activities can increase the risk of having a pensioner. Examples of this include jobs with highly repetitive movements such as assembly-line work.

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About the Author

Dr. John B. Adams is board certified in Pain Management by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. With almost 2 decades of experience, he offers patients access to state-of-the-art pain management, emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to pain management utilizing precision injections, neuromodulation technology, physical therapy, behavioral medicine and judicious use of medications including help with patients titrating off opiates (narcotic pain medications).

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