Pinched nerve overview
For many people, having a pinched nerve is a common ailment. In fact, this common condition will affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives, in some part of their body, because it is often caused by the natural aging process of the spine.
Two of the most common areas for a pinched nerve to develop are in the neck and the back near the spinal cord, which can lead to a wide range of symptoms that can travel the length of the nerve pathway — from the spine to the extremities. Treating these symptoms can be done by reducing the pressure on the pinched nerve, but in order to do this successfully, the exact cause and location of the nerve compression must first be identified.
The brain sends and receives motor and sensory signals — both voluntary and involuntary — by way of the central nervous system and a complex infrastructure of nerves that branch off the spinal cord and extend throughout the body.
When this transfer of information is interfered with, the body responds with a number of potential symptoms depending on the specific pinched nerve, the severity of the compression and the cause of the problem. Some of the symptoms frequently associated with nerve compression include:
- A feeling of pins and needles
- A sensation of heat
- Muscle weakness
Because these signals travel throughout the nerve pathways, a pinched nerve in the lower back could result in pain and symptoms in the buttocks, legs or feet, depending on the severity of the pinched nerve.
Degenerative spine conditions
Pinched nerves in the neck and the back are commonly a result of a degenerative spine condition that develops gradually over time as a result of regular wear and tear. Herniated or bulging discs, osteoarthritis (arthritis of the spine), the presence of bone spurs, spondylolisthesis and other similar conditions can all result in a pinched nerve.
Treatments for a pinched nerve
In most cases, a pinched nerve can be treated with a series of noninvasive treatments such as the use of anti-inflammatories, the application of heat or ice, with stretching or performing low-impact exercises, and getting rest.
In the event that you continue to experience pain resulting from a pinched nerve in your neck or back and conservative treatment has proven ineffective, contact Laser Spine Institute to schedule your initial consultation and learn about our minimally invasive, outpatient nerve decompression procedures. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures work to relieve your pain and symptoms by reducing the pressure on the pinched nerve. Because of our minimally invasive approach to the spine, our procedures offer a shorter recovery time^ and are safer and effective alternatives to traditional open neck and back surgery.
Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.