Often people who have a pinched nerve in their spine or neck don’t realize that’s what the problem is. They have symptoms and pain that stem from the pinched nerve without understanding the cause. By getting a series of tests and speaking with medical professionals, an indivdual can find out what’s going on in order to relieve the pain and get rid of symptoms.
So, what exactly causes a pinched nerve?There are a variety of possibilities, and some of those are not very common, such as tumors and sciatic nerve inflammation. There are also more common reasons that a nerve can end up pinched, and those include:
• Early onset arthritis
• Bones that have been fractured
• Discs that are bulging or protrude (stick out)
• Sprains and strains that have irritated areas of soft tissue
• Discs that have herniated
Depending on age, the reasons behind a pinched nerve cover a range of possibilities. With those who are under 50 years, generally the cause is some kind of issue with their discs or tissues. Those over that age usually suffer from some form of arthritis or other age factors that can cause pinched nerves.
What are the symptoms to watch for?
The most frequently seen symptoms from pinched nerves in the lower back are a feeling of pain, stinging or burning. This most commonly radiates from the buttock area or lower extremities. In addition, pain in the hips and a burning feeling that extends to the feet can also indicate a pinched nerve.
Signs that the nerve is located in the upper back are similar except that they extend to the arms and hands instead of the legs. Because these are symptoms and not the true problem, when they’re experienced, they should be checked out by a physician.
How are pinched nerves found and treated?
Simple tests such as a checkup and X-ray are used to discover whether a pinched nerve is behind pain that the patient may be experiencing. It will also help the physician discover what the location of the nerve is.
Treatment is standard and involves taking anti-inflammatory meds and reducing activity for several weeks along with rest and therapy as needed. The doctor will order additional tests, such as an MRI, if symptoms don’t stop in order to discover other conditions that may require further treatment.