Risk factors of neuralgia

Neuralgia is a broad term used to describe any kind of pain or discomfort that results from nerve compression. This term is commonly used in reference to a pinched nerve near the spine that is causing chronic neck or back pain.

While there are many factors that can cause neuralgia, the most common cause of this condition is simply the natural aging process of the spine. Even though the natural aging process of the spine is unavoidable, there are certain lifestyle changes that can lower your risk of developing a spine condition that causes nerve pain. Understanding these simple changes can help you avoid or postpone the development of nerve pain in your neck or back.

Common risk factors for neuralgia (nerve pain)

The most common cause of neuralgia in adults is a degenerative spine condition. A degenerative condition is one that has occurred over time as the spine naturally undergoes some wear and tear, usually caused by weight gain and/or repetitive motion.

As the joints and discs of the spine wear down, they can develop a spine condition, such as herniated disc or facet disease, which causes them to move out of alignment of the spine and press against a nerve along the spinal cord.

While the natural aging process of the spine is often the cause of nerve pain, there are several controllable factors that can increase your risk of developing a degenerative spine condition, such as:

  • Obesity
  • Participation in high-impact activities
  • Regular alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Not exercising

These factors are often preventable and, by eliminating them from your lifestyle, you can increase your spine’s overall health and decrease your risk of developing a spine condition and nerve pain.

Treatment options for neuralgia

Sometimes even the best prevention methods do not stop the spine from developing a condition that leads to nerve pain. If you are suffering from chronic neck or back pain, ask your physician about at-home treatments and other nonsurgical options, such as physical therapy and yoga, that can help relieve the pressure on your pinched nerve.

If these treatments do not help relieve your pain after a few months, contact our team at Laser Spine Institute to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. Many moderate cases of neuralgia may be treated with our minimally invasive decompression surgery. However, if the spine has undergone more severe damage and nerve compression, minimally invasive stabilization surgery may be the best option for relief.

To date, we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, and we are confident we can help you find relief from the condition causing your neuralgia. Contact us today to see if you are a candidate for surgery at Laser Spine Institute.