Coping with a pinched nerve in your neck
A pinched nerve in the neck is an extremely common condition that can be caused by something as simple as a minor sprain or strain, or as a result of a degenerative spine condition in the cervical spine.
If you think you may have a pinched nerve in your neck, you should consult your physician for an accurate diagnosis of your pain and symptoms and a treatment option that fits your needs. While the pain of a pinched nerve can often be debilitating and keep you from doing the activities you enjoy, there are many treatment options available to help you recapture your quality of life.
Symptoms of a pinched nerve in your neck
A pinched nerve in the neck can cause any number of symptoms depending on the specific nerve that is affected and the severity of the compression. Symptoms are also sometimes transferred along the affected nerve and experienced in the muscles or muscle groups associated with the irritated nerve. This is called radiating pain.
In the cervical spine, a pinched nerve can lead to symptoms in the neck, shoulders, elbows, arms, hands, fingers and throughout the upper body. The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
- Localized pain near the site of the nerve compression
- Pain that radiates along the nerve
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness and tingling
- A sensation of heat or a feeling of pins and needles
- Stiffness or soreness
Causes of a pinched nerve in the neck
Typically, a pinched nerve in the neck is a result of nothing more than a minor injury that will heal in a matter of days.
However, sometimes a pinched nerve develops as a result of a degenerative spine condition. As we age, the cervical spine begins to deteriorate as a result of years of wear and tear. This deterioration can lead to the development of a number of degenerative spine conditions, such as herniated intervertebral discs, spinal stenosis and facet disease. This deterioration is typically not symptomatic in and of itself, but if any of these conditions result in the compression of a nerve, pain may be experienced.
Treatment for a pinched nerve in the neck
In many cases, nerve compression in the neck can be managed with a series of conservative treatments, such as the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), the application of heat and various stretching techniques.
In the event that conservative treatment fails to alleviate your pain and you are considering your other treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the various advantages of our minimally invasive, outpatient decompression procedures and to request a review of your MRI or CT scan.
We offer minimally invasive decompression surgery to relieve pressure on a compressed nerve root in the spinal canal and relieve the pain and symptoms associated with your condition. In cases of a severely pinched nerve, our minimally invasive stabilization surgery may be required to remove the damaged disc or vertebra that is pinching the nerve and replace it with an artificial disc or bone graft.
Our minimally invasive procedures are performed through small incisions, sparing the surrounding muscles and soft tissue. This is a practice that is not done during traditional open neck surgery; the surgeon during traditional open neck surgery will make a large incision that cuts through the local muscles. Our minimally invasive approach to spine surgery offers our patients a safer and effective procedure and shorter recovery time^ than traditional open neck surgery.
For more information about how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help treat the pinched nerve in your neck, contact Laser Spine Institute today.