What should I do if I think I have nerve pain?

If you believe you are experiencing persistent nerve pain — or pain that is a result of the compression of a nerve somewhere in your body — you should schedule an appointment with your primary doctor to find out what is causing your pain and to discuss treatments.

In many cases, nerve pain is the result of nothing more than a minor injury like a muscle strain or sprain, and the pain will subside on its own after a couple of days. However, if your pain continues for several days, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to determine if something more serious is causing your nerve pain — something like a spine condition.

While you wait for your appointment, try some home remedies to ease your nerve pain. Rest, hot and cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medication are often effective ways to reduce nerve pain without medical intervention.

Causes of nerve pain

Often, nerve pain is caused by a spine condition pinching a nerve root near the spine. Common spine conditions that result in pinched nerve pain include:

  • A herniated or bulging disc
  • Facet disease
  • Arthritis of the spine
  • Bone spurs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Foraminal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Disease, tumor or infection

Meeting with your physician

It’s important to prepare for your appointment with your physician so you can have all of your questions answered.

Before your appointment, you should make a list of your symptoms and note when you’ve experienced the most pain. You can also jot down the treatments you have already tried and each treatment’s effectiveness at relieving your pain. This information will help your doctor determine what is pinching the nerve near your spine and the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

In most cases, your physician will use their hands to press areas of your spine to see whether an obvious cause of your pain is present. In some cases, medical imagery, such as an MRI or CT scan, is recommended so your doctor can determine the exact cause of your pain.

Treatment for nerve pain

Once the source of your nerve pain has been identified, treatment will begin. For many patients, conservative treatment will be the recommended form of pain relief, and can include a combination of two or more of the following options:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage therapy
  • Weight loss
  • Low-impact exercises
  • Stretches
  • Corticosteroid injections

If these treatments have not brought pain relief after several months, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery. Our minimally invasive procedures allow patients to experience a shorter recovery time^ and a lower risk of complication compared to patients who choose highly invasive traditional open spine surgery.
Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.