In the spine, a pinched nerve can be caused a number of ways, but is most commonly traced to a minor injury or the presence of a degenerative spine condition. In most instances, this frustrating condition will cause discomfort for several days before inflammation subsides and the nerve decompresses, although occasionally further treatment is required from a medical professional.
The list of potential causes of a pinched nerve is lengthy. Something as simple as taking out the trash or playing a friendly game of pickup basketball can result in a painful compressed nerve. This is because minor soft tissue inflammation in the back or neck can irritate a nerve, nerve root, or even the spinal cord itself, and lead to a variety of symptoms including localized pain, pain that radiates along the affected nerve, unexpected muscle fatigue or weakness, and more.
Various Causes and Treatments
The good news is that in most cases, a pinched nerve as a result of an injury will go away on its own, or only require anti-inflammatories, hot/cold therapy, and a little rest. However, a pinched nerve caused by a degenerative spine condition may require more extensive treatment.
As we age, our spinal anatomy naturally begins to deteriorate as a result of regular usage. For example:
- The intervertebral discs that cushion the spine become brittle and rupture
- The vertebral joints become arthritic
- Bone spurs develop
- The vertebrae themselves can become misaligned
In the event that any of these conditions results in painful nerve compression, a variety of additional treatments may be recommended, such as chiropractic or massage therapy, physical therapy or targeted exercises, hydrotherapy, and pain medication, among others.
Surgery to Release Pinched Nerves
If after several weeks, nerve decompression isn’t accomplished with conservative, nonsurgical treatments, surgical adjustment may be recommended. At Laser Spine Institute, we are at the forefront of revolutionary spine procedures that can be used to decompress a nerve without the risks typically associated with open spine surgery. In fact, our safe and effective procedures are minimally invasive and are conducted on an outpatient basis. To learn more, contact Laser Spine Institute today.