Pinched spinal nerve: what are the causes and treatment options?

A pinched nerve in the spine can be caused by a number of factors from repetitive motions, traumatic injury and age-related spine conditions.

When a pinched nerve is caused by a minor injury from things like lifting a heavy bag or twisting the wrong way, the pain and discomfort may last for several days before healing. However, if the pain and symptoms of nerve compression last longer than a few days, or seem to worsen, that could be an indication that the pain is caused by a spine condition rather than a minor issue in your neck or back.

Causes and treatment for a pinched nerve in the spine

Age-related degenerative spine conditions are some of the most common causes for a pinched nerve. As we age, our spine naturally begins to deteriorate as a result of natural changes combined with the stress of everyday weight and movement. Some examples of natural deterioration include:

  • The discs that cushion the spine become brittle and rupture
  • The facet joints that hinge the vertebrae become arthritic
  • The development of bone spurs
  • The vertebrae themselves can become misaligned

In the event that any of these conditions results in painful nerve compression, a course of conservative treatments may be recommended by your doctor. Many physicians will begin to treat nerve compression with conservative treatments, such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy or targeted exercises, hydrotherapy and pain medication, among others. For many people, these treatments will provide lasting pain relief after several months.

Surgery to relieve pinched nerves

For some patients, several months of conservative treatment may not effectively relieve pinched nerve pain. In these cases, spine surgery may be the next step for pain relief.

At Laser Spine Institute, we are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery to treat the most common forms of degenerative spine conditions. Since 2005 we have been able to help more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain. Through the use of muscle-sparing techniques, our minimally invasive procedures offer patients a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.

To learn more about the minimally invasive spine surgeries used to treat the common causes of pinched nerves, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI report or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.

Browse Related Resources