What to do after receiving a pinched nerve diagnosis
Patients diagnosed with a pinched nerve might experience anxiety, fear and confusion about their diagnosis. The best way to alleviate these fears is to research and learn about pinched nerves so you can make an informed decision about your next steps toward treatment. A great way to gather information about a pinched nerve is to consult your doctor to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing and the best treatment option for your needs. Read on to learn about the possible conservative and surgical treatments that may be recommended after being diagnosed with a pinched nerve.
Explore nonsurgical pinched nerve treatments
There is a vast assortment of nonsurgical treatments for a pinched nerve and what works for one patient might not for another, so finding your ideal treatment regimen might require trial and error. Be sure to discuss the options with your doctor. The most common forms of conservative therapies include:
- Medication to help reduce the pain caused by a pinched nerve
- Lifestyle modifications like losing excess weight and strengthening your muscles through simple exercises can help relieve the pressure on your pinched nerve
- Physical therapy can help keep your spine in alignment and reduce the pressure on your pinched nerve by strengthening the muscles around your spine
Pain medication is often the first treatment option discussed by doctors. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen relieve pain and reduce swelling. If this proves ineffective, your doctor might prescribe a narcotic pain reliever or muscle relaxant, which is a stronger prescription than NSAIDs to help reduce your pain and symptoms.
Your doctor might recommend that you adopt a healthier lifestyle to help treat your pinched nerve. Making healthier choices, like becoming more physically active, can ease the symptoms caused by a pinched nerve by reducing excess body weight adding pressure to your nerves and spine. A physical therapist can also help relieve nerve compression and support the spine by strengthening the neck and back muscles.
Receive a second opinion for your pinched nerve
When searching for a treatment for any spine condition, you should always seek a second opinion. Many times, different doctors will have different insights into effective treatment options. Without a second opinion, you could spend a while attempting treatments with little to no benefit. You should use this opportunity to collaborate with your doctors and determine the best treatment regimen for your needs.
Know when to consider pinched nerve surgery
Most mild cases of a pinched nerve are effectively treated with conservative therapies. However, if your symptoms persist for several weeks or months after getting a second opinion, you might need to consider surgical treatment. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open back surgery. If the time comes that you need to contemplate undergoing surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*
At Laser Spine Institute, our highly skilled surgeons are able to access the nerve depending on where it is pinched by using a small incision that does not disrupt the muscles near the spine. This results in less bleeding, less scarring and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open spine surgery.^ Reach out to our dedicated team today so we can evaluate your condition to see if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive pinched nerve procedures.