Have you been suffering from numbness or a burning sensation in your hands or feet for quite some time? Make sure that you are not having a pinched nerve. Read on and know what is Pinched Nerve, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Pinched Nerve Definition
Picture 1 – Pinched Nerve Photo
Source – medical-definitions
The Pinched Nerve medical term is known as a kind of injury or damage to a nerve or cluster of nerves resulting from compression, stretching or constriction.
Symptoms Of Pinched Nerve
Want to know what does Pinched Nerve feel like? Read about some of the major Pinched Nerve symptoms.
Sufferers of Pinched Nerve commonly experience a partial or complete lack of sensation in the damaged nerve. People with a single compressed nerve in their limb feel like their hand or foot is “sleeping”. In patients of Pinched Nerve numbness is the most common symptom.
Pinched Nerve patients feel a mild pain radiating from the affected nerve.
Burning or Tingling Sensation
Victims of this disorder generally complain of a burning feeling in the damaged region. In many sufferers of Pinched Nerve tingling sensation is also reported.
A Pinched Nerve also gives rise to other problems like Sciatica, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tennis Elbow and Neuropathy. The damage may vary in extent from minor to temporary to permanent.
Pinched Nerve and Chest Pain
In patients of Pinched Nerve chest pain can also occur and is often mistaken as a heart attack. Doctors and medical researchers have diagnosed several cases of Pinched Nerve causing chest pain. This often arises in people who lift very heavy weights or work out at the gym with dumbbells and barbells. Without the protection of squat pads, weights may put the spine under stress pressing the discs out and compressing a nerve.
Pinched Nerve Causes
Some of the major causes of Pinched Nerve are :
Pinched Nerve mainly arises when a nerve is damaged due to direct pressure on it due to some reason. A compressed nerve is unable to properly transport signals to the brain. This causes numbness in the region.
This happens when the nerve is entrapped due to some reason. The problem arises if a limb is tied for too long. Very tight socks or garments restrict free blood flow through the nerves and are commonly found to be the reason behind nerve constriction. The nerve fails to function temporarily resulting in pain and numbness.
One can also get a Pinched Nerve from working out. Improper stretching before or after workouts can damage a nerve and give rise to this problem. This is the reason why Pinched Nerve is a common condition affecting bodybuilders. If you are working out with a Pinched Nerve, it is better for you to discontinue exercise until the region heals completely.
In some cases, an injury or a degenerative disease causes Herniated Disc or the collapse of the disk between two vertebrae. Any nerve surrounding the disc may become pinched or compressed in such cases. This leads to pinched nerve between shoulder blades which cause a painful back spasm around the affected region. Pinched nerve in arms, lower back and legs are also common from a Herniated Disc.
Pinched Nerve during pregnancy is due to changes in the hormone levels in bodies of women. Pregnant women secrete a type of hormone known as Rilaxin which leads to loosening up of ligaments and shifting of bones. One or more nerves within the bones of a relaxed or compressed joint may get pinched as a result.
Pinched Nerve can also occur from trauma, joint disease and repetitive motions.
Pinched Nerve Diagnosis
As aforesaid, Pinched Nerve can result in long term complications. An early diagnosis is necessary to provide faster pinched nerve relief and prevent long time damages. For proper diagnosis of Pinched Nerve X Rays, CT Scans and MRI exams are employed. These Pinched Nerve tests help in detecting the exact affected nerve and check anatomical abnormalities in the region. Cure for Pinched Nerve begins after a correct diagnosis of the condition.
Pinched Nerve Treatment
Pinched Nerve cure is done with the aid of the following methods.
Injecting cortisone shots into the affected nerve causes it to swell thereby taking pressure off it. This relieves pain and damage in the nerve and its surrounding area this helping it heal faster.
Patients of this disease complaining of severe pain in the affected area are usually prescribed pain-relieving over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and Aspirin. If you are having acute pain, ask your doctor to prescribe these pain-reducing Pinched Nerve medications.
If there is too much swelling in the affected nerve, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help cure the problem. These medicines reduce the rate of inflammation and help treat the disorder.
Physical therapy helps heal the impacted nerve naturally and manage the pain radiating from the area. In physical therapy of Pinched Nerve exercises are used to treat the region. Medicines may also be prescribed along with Pinched Nerve Therapy to cure the problem. Exercises help restore flow of blood and nutrients to the area making it heal faster. It also strengthens the region and prevents recurrence of the injury.
Pinched Nerve treatment is also carried out with the aid of electrical stimulation.
Pinched Nerve Home Treatment
Read and know about the main Pinched Nerve home remedies.
Apply cold ice packs to the site of discomfort. Ice application for 3-4 times daily provides Pinched Nerve pain relief, helps reduce swelling in the affected area and cures minor compression and damage.
Some sufferers have better results with application of heat to the area. Press a heating pad to the region of irritation for 2-3 times in the morning and evening to reduce inflammation and discomforts.
Avoid Heavy Objects
Heavy objects put pressure on the Pinched Nerve and aggravate the complications. It is better to lift only objects that are light in weight while you are going for Pinched Nerve remedy.
Sudden jarring motion puts the affected nerve under extreme stress and increases the damage. Avoid sports activities like football and rugby that strains your nerve until you recover completely.
Massage the Area
Use a pain-relieving oil or balm to lightly massage the affected region. For sufferers of Pinched Nerve massage will help reduce discomfort in the suffering area.
Have a Proper Diet
Include lots of fruits, vegetables and fibers into your diet. This will help you avoid constipation and defecate normally. Straining while defecating puts stress on the body and leads to problems like Pinched Nerve. A healthy diet is one of the most ignored Pinched Nerve remedies. It helps boost your immune system and keeps you away from degenerative diseases.
Pinched Nerve Surgery
A surgical operation becomes necessary if occurs from a herniated disc or a bone spur. Surgery aims at relieving the pressure on and around the nerve and stabilizing the joints. Surgery, though quite easy in this case, is kept as a last resort and used for Pinched Nerve quick relief if all other traditional methods fail to improve the condition. It is generally carried out after checking the extent of damage and location of the nerve.
Pinched Nerve operation is minimally invasive and does not require use of general anesthesia or long stays in hospital. That is the reason why it can be conducted in an outpatient setting. A Laminotomy or surgical division of one or more vertebral laminae is carried out to open the spinal canal and perform Pinched Nerve repair.
Pinched Nerve Prognosis
Does Pinched Nerve go away? The answer is yes. Pinched Nerve recovery time is less with proper treatment. In some cases however, damage becomes permanent despite cure. However, permanent damage occurs only in rare cases. With effective treatment and lifestyle changes, Pinched Nerve usually goes away though a discomfort may linger in the affected area for a long time.
Pinched Nerve Paralysis
Pinched Nerve is often equated with paralysis. However, Pinched Nerve gives rise to numbness which indicates loss of sensation whereas Paralysis signifies loss of ability to move the affected region. Pinched Nerve patients are able to move the affected region in the body though they usually fail to “feel” the area. In the absence of treatment, Pinched Nerve paralysis is possible though it affects only the tissues associated with the nerve. Paralysis of the whole or a part of the body is not possible due to this condition.
If you find Pinched Nerve symptoms in yourself or a family member try home remedies for a day or two. If you find your Pinched Nerve getting worse despite home remedies, seek medical treatment. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help cure the condition and prevent all future complications for you.
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Written by Shoummojit
on April 26th, 2011. The article was last updated on September 1st, 2011