Nerve pain overview

Nerve pain, also known as neuralgia, can occur when a nerve in the body is pinched or compressed. Nerve pain is something that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives. A pinched nerve can happen playing sports or doing yard work, and in most cases, the pain will subside after a few days with a little rest and some over-the-counter pain medication.

While this pain can occur anywhere, it commonly occurs in the neck or back. Because the nerves in the spinal column are so tightly packed, they can very easily become compressed by displaced or strained anatomy.

If your nerve pain is caused by a sore muscle, it will likely heal itself within a few days of rest and over-the-counter pain medication. However, if your pain continues or worsens, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your pain. If you are experiencing nerve pain caused by a spine condition, your doctor can help you find the best treatment options for pain relief so you can get back to your active lifestyle.

Common causes of nerve pain

One of the most common causes of nerve pain is a degenerative spine condition. These conditions are often the result of the natural aging process of the spine and are sometimes unavoidable. As the spine ages and endures years of constant movement and other pressures, the stress on the vertebrae and discs increases and can cause them to wear down.

Some examples of degenerative conditions include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Osteophytes
  • Calcified ligaments
  • Inflamed soft tissue

These conditions are not necessarily symptomatic by themselves, but if herniated disc material, a bone spur or inflamed tissue comes into contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord, mild to severe nerve pain can occur.

Treatments for nerve pain

Very often, nerve pain can be managed with a combination of nonsurgical treatments, such as pain medication, physical therapy and hot/cold compresses over several weeks. Your doctor can help you decide the best treatment options for your condition and can help you monitor your progress to make sure the treatments are working effectively.

If you have not found pain relief after several months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive spine surgery.

We offer minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to remove the pressure from the pinched nerve. Each procedure is performed through a small incision and moves the muscles aside, causing less disruption and allowing our patients to experience a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication^ compared to those who undergo traditional open back surgery.

To find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, ask for your free MRI review today.*