Pain from a pinched nerve — what causes it?

Pain from a pinched nerve can be excruciating, as anyone who has experienced this condition can report. The discomfort can make it nearly impossible to stay seated at your desk at work for lengthy periods, follow through on your golf swing, take the dog on a nightly walk or perform any of your other day-to-day activities. But how is it caused? And more importantly, what are the options for relief?

Causes of spinal nerve compression

A pinched nerve is the commonly used term to describe compression of a spinal nerve. This pressure is what causes the pain. A pinched nerve can occur due to a variety of degenerative spine conditions, such as bone spurs, a bulging or herniated disc and spinal stenosis. These conditions are called degenerative because they are caused by the natural aging process. As you get older, normal wear and tear on your spinal anatomy, such as the joints, bones and discs, causes deterioration that can eventually lead to nerve compression and the pain from a pinched nerve.

Treatment options for a pinched nerve

For patients dealing with chronic pain related to a pinched nerve, doctors will typically recommend a variety of conservative nonsurgical options that are often effective in managing neck and back pain. You may be advised to visit a physical therapist, begin an exercise routine, use a cold compress in combination with a heating pad and use medication as needed for painful flare-ups.

However, if you’ve been trying conservative treatments for weeks or months and haven’t seen the results you’re looking for, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform a range of minimally invasive procedures that may be able to help you find relief from neck and back pain caused by a pinched nerve. Our minimally invasive spine surgery involves a less than 1-inch incision, allowing for nerve decompression without the need for the significant muscle disruption caused by traditional open neck or back surgery.

Ask for your free MRI review* that can help determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.

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