A pinched nerve happens when pressure is placed on a nerve resulting from herniated discs, bone spurs or muscle imbalances. This pressure can cause pain in the affected area, as well as around the body, as signals to and from the brain are disrupted. Pinched nerves can result in tremendous pain and discomfort, and finding relief is often in the forefront of a pinched nerve sufferer’s mind.
Pinched nerves can occur anywhere in the body; however the back, neck and wrist (from carpel tunnel syndrome) are some of the more common places. When a herniated disc occurs in the low back, pain can easily radiate down through the legs. A pinched nerve in the wrist can cause tingling, pain and numbness in the fingers and hand.
Symptoms of a pinched nerve are wide ranging, depending on their severity and where they are located. Generally, most pinched nerve sufferers experience some kind of pain, tingling and numbness.
Treatments for a pinched nerve are wide ranging. There are a number of home remedies you can try before resorting to more extreme doctor recommended treatments.
• Hot and cold therapy can help relax the area and increase blood flow, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the injured area. Alternating each type of temperature helps encourage blood flow and reduce swelling. 20 to 30 minutes of each type can prove very effective. The Healthy Back Institute offers infrared heating pads whose technologies penetrate the skin deeply to help soothe the affected area more efficiently than a typical heating pad.
• Rest is often recommended for a pinched nerve, however more and more professionals are recommending moderate movement to help loosen muscles in the affected area. Something as simple as head rolls for a pinched nerve in the neck can help relieve pain. All things in moderation though. Too much rest can cause stiffness and added pain. Too much exercise, or the wrong type of exercise, can aggravate and compound the injury.
• Over the counter pain relievers can also help reduce pain dramatically. Try an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Aleve to help with swelling and attack the issue at its source.
Sometimes, if pain can’t be relieved or reduced in a few days seeing a doctor is necessary. They have a number of additional options for pinched nerve sufferers.
• Prescription medications can help reduce or block pain to the affected area.
• Injections of various steroids or other medications can help target the area directly to reduce swelling at the source and help relieve pressure on the nerve.
• Physical therapy will teach pinched nerve sufferers exercises to help strengthen the area to help relieve pressure on the affected nerve.
• In extreme cases, surgery can be performed to relieve pressure on the affected nerve. Surgical procedures depend on where the nerve is located, and can include removing bone spurs or herniated discs. However, most cases of pinched nerves can be resolved without going under the knife.
The Healthy Back Institute strives to help pain sufferers get back to their lives. For more information on pinched nerve relief, visit their Web site today at losethebackpain.com.