Pinched nerve in the spine — overview and treatment options

A pinched nerve in the spine can be caused by several spine conditions, including a herniated or bulging disc, bone spurs or spondylolisthesis. It can happen anywhere in the spine, though pinched nerves commonly occur in either the lumbar spine (lower back) or the cervical spine (neck) because those are the two areas of the spine responsible for bending and twisting, which can cause compression of the spine and the development of a spine condition.

People who suffer from a pinched nerve in the spine might experience chronic pain, or pain that is suddenly triggered by certain movements. The pain can be both local in the back and radiating through the extremities. You should consult your physician about your symptoms to decide the best treatment option to get you back to your normal life routine.

At Laser Spine Institute, we help treat several patients with pinched nerves. The majority of spine conditions are accompanied by pinched nerves. Our care team is here to help you learn about your condition and about the treatment options available to you so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.

Causes of a pinched nerve in the spine

A pinched nerve is a result of most spine conditions. In fact, many people do not know they have a spine condition until it impacts one of the nerve roots in the spinal canal. Nerve pain is often the first symptom for people with spine conditions.

A nerve root in the spinal cord can be compressed by the components of the spine moving out of alignment and impacting the nerve. This can be caused by the compression of the spine moving discs outward, such as herniated, bulging or ruptured discs, or by the components of the spine degenerating and misaligning, such as spondylolisthesis or bone spurs.

The most common conditions associated with pinched nerves in the spine include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Ruptured disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spondylosis
  • Bone spurs
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative disc disease

These conditions often cause local and radiating pain in the neck and back due to the impacted nerve in the spinal cord. If you are suffering from a pinched nerve, there are several treatment options to help you, including surgical treatment.

Safe and effective treatment for pinched nerves

If you are suffering from a pinched nerve, your first method of treatment should always be conservative treatment, such as chiropractic care or physical therapy. However, if you have tried conservative treatment and found no lasting pain relief, you may want to consider a surgical option to treat the pinched nerve at the root of your pain.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is precise and proven effective. Our careful techniques and small, 1-inch incision has named us the leader in minimally invasive surgery. More patients come to our surgery center for minimally invasive spine surgery than to any other surgery center in the world.

We offer two types of minimally invasive surgery to treat pinched nerves: minimally invasive decompression surgery and minimally invasive stabilization surgery. Both surgeries are performed through a small incision and begin by decompressing the nerve in the spine. For some conditions, this can be accomplished by removing a small portion of the disc or vertebra that is impacting the nerve. This would be done with a minimally invasive decompression surgery.

However, some spine conditions are more advanced, and the entire disc or vertebra must be removed to free the impacted nerve in the spine. An implant must then be inserted into the open space to stabilize the spine. This is called a minimally invasive stabilization surgery.

For more information about our surgeries and the treatment options available for your pinched nerve, please contact our care team. We’ve helped over 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, and we are confident that we can help you treat your pinched nerve.