When any of your nerves is damaged this is referred to as having a pinched nerve. If an exorbitant amount of pressure from objects surrounding the nerve is forced onto the nerve, this can be harmful. Nerves are very sensitive to pressure and can only stand a limited amount. Pinched nerves can happen in any part of the body but can be especially painful in the back. In the spinal column, bones, ligaments, muscles, joint cartilage and tendons are typically positioned very close to nerves. If there is deterioration or an abnormal outgrowth or shift from any one of these parts, a nerve can be disrupted.
You can surmise that you have pinched nerves if you feel a radiating pain in your lower back. This gripping pain will usually radiate away from the nerve that is affected. Numbness is also a symptom because your nerves are part of what help you to feel. If you have a burning sensation or a tingling feeling this can be a sign. Pinched nerves can cause your muscles to feel weak. Coughing or sneezing can exacerbate painful symptoms and cause extreme discomfort. Lastly, if you feel like your extremities are falling asleep or like you have pins puncturing you, this can also stem from having a pinched nerve.
Nerve injury can be caused by excessive compression. Nerves are not built to absorb a lot of pressure. The spinal column has many nerves that are fragile and delicate. If a bone or cartilage comes into contact with the nerve, this can cause it to be pinched. In a circumstance where an individual is suffering from a herniated or bulging disc, this can be dangerous. A herniated disc refers to the moment when a portion of the cartilage between the vertebrae expels through a tear and moves out of place. When this portion extends beyond the normal area, this can put pressure on the surrounding nerve. Other pinched nerve causes include contact sports injuries, being overweight or obese, having bad posture, osteoarthritis and trauma.
If you have a pinched nerve, chances are that you won’t have to do much treatment. The first method of treatment that you should try is resting. The less stress you have on that part of the body, the faster your body will be able to heal on its own. If you suspect that you hurt your nerve because of certain physical activities, you should refrain from them while you are healing. Resting your back or other affected area may be hard to do on your own. Sometimes a brace is needed to prevent you from applying more pressure to that nerve. A back brace will limit your movement and limit the chances of aggravating the nerve.
Physical therapy could also be used to speed up the healing process. Using a combination of stretches, you can build up strength in your muscles and decrease pressure. Ibuprofen and naproxen are good nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can alleviate any pain or inflammation that you are experiencing as a result of pinched nerves. There are several over the counter NSAIDs like Aleve, Motrin and Advil.
Written By: Updated: June 29,2011