Getting a better understanding of compressed nerve symptoms

Compressed nerve symptoms can be very disruptive to your quality of life, taking you away from your favorite people and activities. Spinal nerve compression often results from age-related conditions like herniated discs or bone spurs that can narrow the nerve pathways in the spinal column.

This is particularly true for the two more flexible and weight-stressed regions of the spine, the cervical (upper) and lumber (lower) regions. These two areas are vulnerable to the causes of nerve compression because they support the weight of the head and upper body, respectively, and they allow a wide range of movement. By having a better understanding of spinal anatomy and the underlying causes of compressed nerve symptoms, you can be more informed as a patient and give yourself a better chance of finding the relief you deserve.

Conditions that cause nerve compression

Two of the most common age-related conditions leading to compressed nerve symptoms are osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. These conditions produce effects that tend to destabilize the spine. With osteoarthritis, worn joint cartilage can trigger the body to produce excess growth of bone called bone spurs. For sufferers of degenerative disc disease, deterioration of spinal discs can produce herniated discs, bulging discs and a reduction in disc height that could lead to vertebral slippage (spondylolisthesis). The presence of any of these conditions is not necessarily symptomatic. However, if a nerve root becomes compressed, it can give rise to the following compressed nerve symptoms:

  • Localized pain and inflammation
  • Shooting pain down the length of the nerve
  • Tingling, numbness or complete loss of sensation
  • A loss of functionality or weakness in a muscle group

Even if these symptoms become debilitating, they can often be managed with conservative treatments, including pain medication, physical therapy, exercise, rest, or epidural steroid injection. If your symptoms persist after several weeks or months, however, surgery might become an option.

Minimally invasive procedures

At Laser Spine Institute, compressed nerve symptoms are treated with our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery. We offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to treat a wide range of symptoms, all without the highly invasive nature of traditional open spine surgery. As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain since 2005.

Contact us today to learn more and to find out how to receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.