Daily Health Headlines

Pinched Nerve

👤by MedicineNet.com 0 comments 🕔Thursday, January 30th, 2014

What is a pinched nerve?

A "pinched nerve" is the name given to the uncomfortable sensation, pain, or numbness caused when increased pressure leads to irritation or damage to a peripheral nerve (A peripheral nerve is one that is outside the brain and spinal cord.). Although this condition is often associated with back pain or a neck injury, almost any nerve is susceptible.

What are the risk factors for a pinched nerve?

Anything which increases pressure around a nerve can cause a pinched nerve. Common causes include body position such as leaning on elbows, habitually crossing legs, or poor posture. Over time this may lead to pressure injury to nerves in these regions.

Disc herniation or bulging discs and arthritis in the spine can cause pressure on nerve roots which leads to the pain or discomfort associated with a pinched nerve. Weight gain or water retention can predispose people to developing pinched nerves; thyroid disease (especially hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels) can contribute to both water retention and weight gain and can increase the risk of certain types of pinched nerves. Pregnancy, which is associated with increased weight and occasionally associated with water retention, is also a common risk factor for developing certain types of pinched nerves. Repetitive activities (typing and using certain tools) can also increase swelling around specific nerves and lead to symptoms of a pinched nerve.

What causes a pinched nerve?

Pressure on a peripheral nerve can irritate the nerve itself, its protective covering (myelin sheath), or both. When this occurs, the nerve is unable to conduct sensory impulses to the brain appropriately, leading to a sense of numbness. This inflammation associated with the damage or injury can also cause pain or paresthesia (a tingling or prickling sensation) signals to be sent to the brain. In its early stages, many people may describe this sensation as a body part that has "fallen asleep." However, if nerve inflammation persists, this sensation persists rather than resolving after a few minutes.

If the nerve is compressed for a short amount of time, it is often able to repair itself but it may take several weeks or months for the symptoms to fully resolve. However, if the compression remains present for a long time, permanent nerve injury may occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/30/2014

Pinched Nerve Overview Index Find a Local Doctor

Patient Comments Viewers share their comments

Pinched Nerve - Treatment Question: What treatment have you had for your pinched nerve? Did it help?

Pinched Nerve - Symptoms Question: What do your pinched nerve symptoms feel like? Pain, tingling, numbness, or something else?

Pinched Nerve - Diagnosis Question: How was your pinched nerve diagnosed? Did you have an MRI, CT scan, or other test to diagnose your nerve condition?

Risk Factors - Causes Question: What was the cause of your pinched nerve?

Medical Author:

Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

Danette C. Taylor, DO, MS, FACN

Dr. Taylor has a passion for treating patients as individuals. In practice since 1994, she has a wide range of experience in treating patients with many types of movement disorders and dementias. In addition to patient care, she is actively involved in the training of residents and medical students, and has been both primary and secondary investigator in numerous research studies through the years. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine (Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology). She graduated with a BS degree from Alma College, and an MS (biomechanics) from Michigan State University. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her internship and residency were completed at Botsford General Hospital. Additionally, she completed a fellowship in movement disorders with Dr. Peter LeWitt. She has been named a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists. She is board-certified in neurology by the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry. She has authored several articles and lectured extensively; she continues to write questions for two national medical boards. Dr. Taylor is a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC) of the Alzheimer's Association of Michigan, and is a reviewer for the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

Medical Editor:

Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Pinched Nerve Symptoms

The perception of pain varies with each individual; terms such as stabbing, prickling, burning, tingling, and other descriptions have been used.

Article Credits / Source

MedicineNet.com

MedicineNet.com provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from MedicineNet.com.

View More Articles From MedicineNet.com 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Chronic Pain Articles

A Benefit of Back Pain Surgery: Better Sex

A Benefit of Back Pain Surgery: Better Sex0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery for back pain can often improve patients' sex lives, researchers report. "The impetus behind our study was to initiate the process of understanding how back surgery affects patients' lives," ...

Shoulder and Neck Pain

Shoulder and Neck Pain0

Neck Pain Causes What are causes and risk factors for neck pain? Pain located in the neck is a common medical condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases and can involve any of the tissues in the neck. Examples of ...

Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain0

Low Back Pain Treatment Epidural Steroid Injection Epidural steroid injections are most commonly used in situations of radicular pain, which is a radiating pain that is transmitted away from the spine by an irritated spinal nerve. ...

Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone

Oxycodone vs. Hydrocodone0

home / chronic pain center / chronic pain a-z list / oxycodone vs. hydrocodone index / oxycodone vs. hydrocodone drug monograph Medical Reviewer: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR William C. Shiel ...

cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)

cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid)0

home / chronic pain center / chronic pain a-z list / cyclobenzaprine index / cyclobenzaprine (flexeril, amrix, fexmid) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. ...

View More Chronic Pain Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!