Six effective treatments for a pinched spinal nerve
A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve, one of the body’s pathways that sends signals from one part of the body to another, becomes compressed by a surrounding bone, ligament or tendon. A pinched nerve may not be able to carry signals accurately, resulting in muscle weakness or loss of function in the affected area, and can trigger pain and sensations like numbness or tingling throughout the body.
Pinched nerve treatment
Pinched nerve treatment aims to relieve the pain and other symptoms caused by nerve compression. If you suspect you are suffering from a pinched nerve, it is important to consult with a physician who can pinpoint the location of your pinched nerve and recommend an appropriate course of treatment based on the severity and cause of your nerve compression. Here are some commonly utilized methods of pinched nerve treatment:
- Rest. For some individuals, rest is all that is needed to treat a pinched nerve. For this reason, rest is almost always part of a patient’s treatment plan.
- Over-the-counter medication. Anti-inflammatory and pain medication, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, are often used to help alleviate a patient’s discomfort from a pinched nerve.
- Prescription medication. For those with more severe pinched nerve pain, or for those who did not find sufficient relief in over-the-counter medication, a physician may prescribe stronger pain medication.
- Epidural steroid injections. A series of numbing injections may be prescribed to provide longer-lasting relief from a pinched nerve.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy helps to improve the strength and flexibility of the core muscles, which help to support the spine, often relieving the pressure on a pinched nerve and preventing further nerve compression from occurring.
- Hot/cold compresses. Alternating hot and cold compresses are often very effective in soothing a patient’s pain from a pinched nerve.
Pinched nerve surgery
In most cases, nonsurgical pinched nerve treatment is all that is necessary for achieving lasting relief. Occasionally, however, a patient will find their nonsurgical treatment regimen ineffective, and he or she may consider surgery for a more permanent solution.
At Laser Spine Institute, we perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures as alternatives to open spine surgery. These procedures have many advantages over traditional open neck or back surgery. For example, our procedures are performed through a less than 1-inch incision and use muscle-sparing techniques, which allows our patients to experience a shorter recovery time^. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our minimally invasive, outpatient surgeries and to find out if you are a candidate for our procedures by receiving a no-cost review* of your MRI.