Nerve pain is a symptom of the compression or irritation of a nerve somewhere in the body. This nerve compression can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from those you can avoid, like minor injury, to those that are unavoidable, like the natural aging process. Nerve compression and subsequent nerve pain are particularly common in the lower back (lumbar spine) and neck (cervical spine) where the spine is most flexible and under tremendous stress. Treatment for nerve pain is normally first attempted conservatively, with a variety of nonsurgical techniques, while decompression surgery is an option for patients whose pain persists through all other treatments.
Nerve pain is a symptom exhibited by the body when regular nerve function is interrupted. The brain sends and receives motor and sensory signals throughout the body by way of a complex infrastructure of nerves. When one of the nerves become compressed, irritated, or otherwise “pinched,” the function of the affected nerve is interfered with and a variety of symptoms can develop depending on the specific nerve. Some of the most common symptoms of nerve compression include:
- Pain that radiates along the length of the nerve
- Pain at the origin of the compression
- Muscle weakness or excessive fatigue
- Diminished reflexes
- Numbness and tingling
- A burning or pins-and-needles sensation
In the spine, nerve compression can be caused a number of ways. More often than not, back or neck pain as a result of a pinched nerve can be traced to nothing more than a simple muscle strain or minor ligament sprain. However, nerve pain can also be traced to degenerative spine conditions that occur as a result of growing older. Herniated intervertebral discs, vertebral misalignment, and bone spurs can all cause nerve compression.
If you are experiencing nerve pain as a result of a degenerative spine condition and you are considering spine surgery to alleviate your back or neck pain, contact Laser Spine Institute and learn about the numerous benefits of our revolutionary, minimally invasive outpatient spine procedures.