What to do about a compressed nerve in the spine

Pinched nerve treatment is designed to relieve the symptoms caused by pressure on the affected nerve. When a pinched nerve develops in the spine, it can result in pain, numbness and weakness that may be located far from the source of the problem. For example, a compressed nerve in the lumbar (lower) spine can affect the hips, buttocks and legs while the cervical (upper) spine can cause symptoms in the neck, shoulders and arms.

These symptoms can disrupt everyday life, making work and normal activities — like going to the store or working in the yard — extremely difficult. Those experiencing spinal pinched nerve symptoms can seek relief using a range of therapies, with surgery becoming an option in some situations.

Conservative pinched nerve treatment

Relieving the muscle spasms, pain, numbness, tingling and weakness caused by a pinched nerve can be achieved using a course of doctor-prescribed conservative treatments. At first, it’s often recommended that patients refrain from activities that could potentially worsen symptoms. Commonly prescribed methods include:

  • Pain medication
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Moderate exercise and gentle stretching
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Epidural steroid injections

Conservative treatment can prove effective, allowing patients to return to their normal lives in many situations, but surgery can become an option if symptoms do not improve after weeks or months.

Pinched nerve surgical treatment options

Traditional open spine surgery comes with many difficulties, including an extended hospital stay and a long, potentially painful, recovery period. That’s because surgeons must use a large, muscle-tearing incision to access the spine and decompress the nerve, leading to an increased risk of complication and infection.

At Laser Spine Institute, our board-certified surgeons+ perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures as an alternative to traditional open spine surgery. Our procedures use a less than 1-inch incision, which leads to a faster recovery time^ and less risk of infection when compared to traditional open back surgery.

To find out if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review.*

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