Pinched Nerve In Neck – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Are you lately suffering from numbness or a burning sensation in your neck? You are probably suffering from a pinched nerve in neck. Read and know all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of pinched nerve in neck.

What Is Pinched Nerve In Neck?

The term “Pinched Nerve” refers to a nerve damaged or injured due to stretching, constriction or compression. A pinched nerve in neck refers to such an injured nerve in the neck region.

Symptoms Of Pinched Nerve In Neck

Know about some of the main pinched nerve in neck symptoms.


People with a pinched neck nerve typically complain of numbness in the affected neck area. Sufferers feel as if a part of their neck is “sleeping”.


Most sufferers experience pain radiating from the neck down to the buttocks and legs. However, there is no actual pain in any region of the neck. The pain in this case is known as “Referred Pain”.

Pricking Sensation

Though pinched nerve generally gives rise to numbness, many victims complain of a tingling or pricking sensation in the affected region.

Muscular Spasm

In some cases, patients complain of a muscular spasm in the adjoining areas of the nerve.


Affected individuals also suffer from pain in the temple or the back (occipital region) of the head. In occipital headaches, pain may be felt at the region of head located just behind the eyes.


A pinched neck nerve often gives rise to swelling in the affected area of the neck. The inflammation is externally visible in many cases.

Cervicobrachial Syndrome

In a few cases, pinched nerve in neck gives rise to Cervicobrachial Syndrome, a condition that affects one or both arms. The pain radiating in the upper limbs may be either dull or acute in nature.

What Causes Pinched Nerve In Neck?

Read about some of the major Pinched Nerve in Neck causes.

Herniated Disc

Also known as Slipped Disc, this condition has the central core of the intervertebral disc forcing its way into the spinal column and forming a bulge. This causes any nerve around it to get pinched or compressed. This usually happens in the lower back but can also occur in the neck.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) causes degeneration of the intervertebral disc and mainly affects older people. The condition causes a reduction in thickness of disc and leads to entrapment of nerve within spinal bones. The problem also arises due to excessive wear and tear of discs in elderly individuals.

Spinal Arthritis

This disease mainly arises due to the onset of Osteoarthritis or erosion of joints. The condition is also known as Neck Arthritis. Poor neck posture aggravates this problem.

Sudden Injury

A sudden trauma or injury to the neck due to a blow or an accident may cause irreversible damage to spinal disc or cervical vertebrae and give rise to a pinched nerve.

You may also get a pinched nerve in neck from sleeping awkwardly. A sports injury, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Spinal Stenosis are other causes of Pinched Nerve in Neck.

Pinched Nerve In Neck Diagnosis

For an accurate diagnosis of pinched nerve in neck MRI scans, CT Scans and X-Ray examinations are used. These tests help doctors pinpoint the exact location of the affected nerve and also ensure that there are no other abnormalities in the region.

Treatment For Pinched Nerve In Neck

Read and know about the main pinched nerve in neck treatment options.


People suffering from pain and acute discomfort in neck are generally prescribed analgesics. Common pinched nerve in neck medications are Aspirin and Ibuprofen. Applying pain-relieving ointments on the affected area is also effective in reducing pain. In people with severe neck pain due to pinched nerve in neck injections of Epidural Steroid or Cortisone in the neck and shoulders can work wonders.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Severe swelling in the affected region can be cured with anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). These medications are effective in curing the disorder and reducing pinched nerve in neck swelling.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is encouraged in many cases along with drug-related treatment. In sufferers of pinched nerve in neck physical therapy helps in naturally healing the affected nerve. In this kind of pinched nerve in neck treatment exercises are employed to restore blood flow into the affected area making it heal faster. Pinched nerve in neck therapy also includes massage, cervical traction, electrical stimulation and heat and ice treatment.

For patients of pinched nerve in neck best treatment is a conjunction of medications and therapies.

Pinched Nerve In Neck Surgery

If medicine treatment and physical therapy fails to improve the condition, a surgical operation may be the last option. A surgery is rarely conducted to cure a pinched neck nerve but may be done if the condition arises due to a bone spur or a herniated disc. The objective of surgery is to take pressure off the nerve and make the joints more stable. Surgery is carried out after checking the extent of damage in the area.

Pinched Nerve In Neck Prognosis

With effective treatment, a pinched neck nerve gets cured quite fast though the discomfort may stay on for a long time. In rare cases, there can be permanent damage in spite of treatment.

Pinched Nerve in Neck Recovery Time

Most people recover completely from a pinched neck nerve injury. In many cases, people recover within a few days of the first appearance of the injury. The nervous system repairs itself in segments. This is why it takes a few days for pinched nerve in neck relief to happen. Serious cases of pinched nerve require cure and recovery depends on the effectiveness of treatment.

If you suspect yourself to be having a Pinched Nerve in Neck get in touch with a doctor immediately. This condition, though non-lethal, can be extremely discomforting and may impair daily activities unless treated affectively. Early treatment will help you stay away from all possible complications and bounce back to health within a few days.


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