A pinched nerve can occur any time the root of a nerve experiences pressure from nearby bones, cartilage, muscles, or other tissues. For example, as we age, the cushioning between our vertebrae shrinks from wear and tear. This can lead to pain as nerves become trapped between the bones in our spine, which didn't happen when we were younger and those cushions were healthier. Herniated discs are a common cause of nerve pain, but nerve pain can occur in many locations throughout your body and can have various causes ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to repetitive motion to injury. Women and people with thyroid disease are more likely to develop pinched nerves.
A side effect of pinched nerves includes numbness, pain, or tingling in your extremities. If you have a pinched nerve in your wrist, you may notice these symptoms in your hand and finger. Shoulder nerve issues can lead to hand pain while pinched nerves near your lower back and hips can cause pain in your legs and even feet. This irritation may start as a sharp and irritating pain that radiates throughout your limb or body.
While a pinched nerve can heal itself within a few days if you allow the nerve to rest and treat with pain medication, more serious causes can require treatment. A chiropractor can assist if your pinched nerve has lasted for more than a few days. Pinched nerves can be diagnosed with MRIs, EMGs, and ultrasounds. Nerve conduction studies that trace electrical impulses can also diagnose and locate pinched nerves.
Although a pinched nerve may sound serious and cause a lot of pain, treatment may be less invasive than you imagine. Physical therapy, which a chiropractor can perform, can relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce pain. Steroid injections can also further reduce pain. However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to relieve a pinched nerve.
If you're unsure whether you have a pinched nerve or how to treat it, call Woodgrove Pines Clinic at (250) 390-2003 today to learn more or schedule an appointment.