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The Lowdown on Pinched Nerves

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The Lowdown on Pinched Nerves

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • May 26, 2020

The nerves in your body form a complex system that transmits sensations between your brain and spinal cord to your muscles and organs. When excessive pressure is put upon a nerve by adjacent muscles, bones, tendons or other tissues, a pinched nerve may occur. The function of the nerve is negatively impacted, leading to pain, numbness, weakness, instability or tingling. A pinched nerve can happen in many areas of the body, with the spine being one of the most common. Pain can start at the pinched nerve site along your spine and radiate down your back, hips, buttocks and legs.

The most common symptoms of a pinched nerve are:

  • Sharp or aching pain that may radiate to other areas of your body
  • Tingling that feels like pins and needles on your body
  • Numbness in the part of the body related to that nerve
  • Sensation that your extremities, like a foot or hand, has fallen asleep
  • Muscle weakness

If you experience symptoms like these, schedule an appointment with a specialist like NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Charla Fischer at NYU Langone Orthopedic Center in New York City. to get an accurate diagnosis. This is especially true if your symptoms last for several days and don’t improve with rest or over-the-counter pain medication. Dr. Fischer will be able to determine if you have a pinched nerve and its exact location.

Some conditions that cause a pinched nerve may include:

  • Obesity
  • Gender
  • Trauma
  • Stress from repetitive movements
  • Sport or hobbies
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bone spurs
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Extended bed rest

Most patients recover from a pinched nerve after a few days or weeks. Rest and conservative treatments like medication or stretches recommended by Dr. Fischer can help during periods of discomfort. If a nerve is pinched for a short time, no permanent damage usually occurs and nerve function returns to normal. If pressure continues for a long period of time, chronic symptoms or permanent nerve damage may develop. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to fully relieve pinched nerve symptoms.

To prevent a pinched nerve, try to maintain a healthy weight, limit repetitive movements, practice good posture, and include flexibility and strength training in your exercise program.

If your systems are more severe and you need to consult with a doctor, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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