What are the symptoms of a pinched nerve in the spine?

A pinched nerve is a common cause of neck and back pain. In fact many spine conditions, such as a herniated disc or a bone spur, are not necessarily painful. Symptoms are very often the result of compression, or pinching, of a spinal nerve.

If you are experiencing symptoms you believe are related to a pinched nerve, you should see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The following information can help you have a better understanding of specific pinched nerve symptoms and the treatment options available, helping you be more engaged and informed about the care you receive.

Specific symptoms of nerve compression

Some of the most common symptoms of a pinched nerve in the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle) or lumbar (lower) spine include:

  • Localized pain at the site of nerve compression
  • Pain that radiates along the affected nerve
  • Unexpected muscle weakness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Burning sensation

The symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary depending on the location and severity of the nerve compression. Because the nerve roots travel from the spine out to the extremities, a pinched nerve in the spinal canal can potentially cause radiating pain that travels from the spine into the arm or leg.

For example, a compressed nerve in the lumbar spine may cause sciatica or lower back pain, while a pinched nerve in the cervical spine may cause shoulder weakness or neck pain.

Treatment for pinched nerve symptoms

Upon diagnosis of the condition that is the underlying cause of a pinched nerve, doctors will typically prescribe a course of conservative treatment options to manage symptoms and try to reduce pressure on the affected nerve. This can often be achieved with methods that stretch and strengthen the spine, like yoga and exercise combined with medication, physical therapy and healthy lifestyle choices like improving posture and managing weight. However if weeks or months of conservative options are unable to provide lasting relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

During these outpatient procedures, one of our highly skilled surgeons removes the piece of the damaged disc, joint or vertebra of the spine that is causing spinal nerve compression. This surgery is performed through a less than 1-inch incision with the use of muscle-sparing techniques, making it a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^

To see if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to us today and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan.*

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