What treatment options are available for a pinched nerve?
There are a variety of treatment options for a spinal pinched nerve. However, before considering the options, an important first step is recognizing the symptoms and understanding why they occur.
A pinched nerve, or compressed nerve, can occur anywhere in the body and refers to a nerve that has become irritated and is causing pain and other symptoms. A spinal pinched nerve is characterized by:
- Pain at the location of the pinched nerve
- Tingling, numbness or muscle weakness
- Symptoms that radiate out to one of the extremities
These symptoms can range from mild to severe and may worsen over time if left untreated.
Conservative pinched nerve treatment options
For many patients, conservative treatments are sufficient in relieving the pain and other symptoms caused by a spinal pinched nerve. A physician may recommend over-the-counter pain medications and anti-inflammatories as a first step. This may be combined with low-impact exercises, stretching techniques or physical therapy that aim to strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the pinched nerve to relieve the pressure on it. Additionally, some patients find relief through hot and cold compresses, massage or corticosteroid injections.
Surgical treatment for a pinched nerve
In some cases, conservative pinched nerve treatments are ineffective at providing the relief patients seek. When conservative treatment options have been exhausted and symptoms still persist, a physician will likely recommend surgery. The goal of surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and consequently reduce or eliminate the symptoms.
There are two primary forms of spine surgery: traditional open surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Laser Spine Institute specializes in minimally invasive spine procedures, which have several advantages over traditional open neck and back surgery, including:
- They require less than a 1-inch incision
- They are muscle sparing
- They are performed as an outpatient procedure
- Offer a shorter recovery time ^
Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from their pain by providing advanced treatments for pinched nerves and other degenerative spinal conditions. To find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today for a no-cost MRI review.*