You might have heard of sciatica, a pinched nerve behind the hip or knee that often leads to pain in the leg. You may have also heard of piriformis syndrome, which affects the sciatic nerve as it passes through the buttocks. Both these types of spinal injuries are caused by compression.
Having a pinched nerve can mean different things depending on where the nerve is. The pain can be quite distressing and even debilitating. You'll experience sharp waves of discomfort that slink across your skin like a running waterfall.
Pinched nerves can affect any part of the body and need a proper diagnosis from a New York pain management specialist. The good news is that we are here to help and offer many different treatment options to manage your condition, depending on what part of the body is affected.
What is a Pinched Nerve?
A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve is squeezed between two bones or muscles. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling down one or more of the limbs that the affected nerve supplies.
A pinched nerve is caused by compression of the nerve at some point in its pathway. It can be caused by trauma to your back or neck, such as from an accident or fall. It can also be caused by pregnancy or obesity.
A pinched nerve is one of the most painful conditions that can be experienced. This debilitating pain can affect any part of the body, including the brain and back. Our pain management specialists will be able to help you determine whether or not a pinched nerve is the cause of your problem. And treatment options will depend on which type of pinched nerve you have and where it's located.
Where Can a Pinched Nerve Occur?
There are many places where a nerve can be pinched, and each location has its own symptoms. Here are some of the most common places where you might feel a pinched nerve:
In the neck
This is one of the most common places for a pinched nerve. The cervical spine is made up of seven vertebrae that surround your spinal cord, which runs through this area from top to bottom. When these bones are out of alignment, they can pinch your nerves as they pass through them, causing pain and numbness in various parts of your body, depending on where they're compressed.
In the shoulder
Another common place for a pinched nerve is in your shoulder joint due to poor posture and repetitive motion over time. For example, if you have curled up or slouched shoulders while sitting at your desk all day at work, then this could be compressing the nerves that run through here, causing numbness in your arm and hand.
In the chest area
Pinched nerves in this area can cause pain along one side of your chest and shoulder blade area, as well as numbness on that same side of your body and weakness in one arm or both arms.
In the upper back (thoracic spine)
Nerves in this area can cause pain that travels down your shoulder blade and into your arm. You may also have pain when touching or moving your shoulder blade (scapula).
In the lower back (lumbar spine)
Nerves in this area can cause pain that travels down into your buttocks and legs. The pain may be sharp or aching and worse with movement. A pinched nerve in your low back can cause leg pain that travels down into the foot or toes, muscle spasms in the buttocks and thighs, and loss of bladder or bowel control.
What Causes a Pinched Nerve?
Pinching of the nerves most often occurs in areas where two bones meet, such as the neck and spine. It usually results from an injury or trauma, but it can also look like other conditions that affect the same area.
There are many different ways to get a pinched nerve. Whether it's from sitting at your desk for too long, overuse of a muscle, or other issues, pinched nerves can cause severe pain, numbness, and tingling.
The main symptom of a pinched nerve is pain that radiates down a specific part of your body from where the pinched nerve lies. It depends on where the pinched nerve is located and can affect more than one area of your body.
In other cases, however, the cause is not so clear. This can happen when there is inflammation or swelling in the soft tissue around the spinal cord or nerves. In these cases, our pain physician may use imaging tests to determine what's causing the pinched nerve.
If you think you might have a pinched nerve caused by physical trauma, such as an injury from playing sports or lifting something heavy, be sure to see our pain specialists, especially if the pain doesn't go away after resting for a few days and getting some rest.
How to Relieve Pain from a Pinched Nerve?
The pinched nerve can be felt in your neck, shoulder, arm, back, and other parts of your body and can be badly painful and immobilizing. If you're looking for ways to deal with a pinched nerve and improve your mobility, it is better to know what is actually causing these problems.
It may be due to something as simple as crossing your legs or as serious as a herniated disk. The symptoms can be quite unpleasant, but with the right treatment, you can feel better in no time.
There are several treatment options for pinched nerves depending on where the problem is located in your body. Each form of treatment works well for certain body parts and not so well for others. It's important to seek professional help as soon as possible. If left untreated, this condition could affect your ability to work and even cause long-term damage to your body's structure and function.
Pinched nerves can be treated with chiropractic care, physical therapy, and cortisone injections. The goal is to restore the normal movement of your spine and relieve pressure on the nerve so they can heal properly.
The most common treatment for pinched nerves is physical therapy. Our physical therapist will work with you in sessions that may include exercises, massage, and other techniques designed to reduce swelling in the nerve root and increase mobility in the surrounding soft tissue.
Our physical therapist will create an exercise program, such as stretching exercises, to help improve mobility and reduce muscle tension that may be contributing to pinched nerves. Also, exercising will help strengthen muscles around the affected area which can help prevent further injury or irritation from occurring.
Massaging the area around the pinched nerve can help increase circulation around the affected area, which improves blood flow and reduces swelling and inflammation associated with pinching.
Medical massage is done by our licensed massage therapist to ensure that you are getting the appropriate type of stimulation for your specific condition. Massage also helps relieve stress which can be another contributing factor to inflammation within your body that causes pinched nerves.
Our chiropractors are trained to diagnose and treat pinched nerves and can do so through a variety of different methods. One method is to manipulate the spine in order to relieve pressure on the nerve and help it move freely once again.
Another method is called an adjustment, which uses pressure on specific areas of the body that are out of alignment—such as when a pinched nerve causes misalignment within your spine.
In some cases, cortisone injections are used to reduce inflammation in surrounding tissue. These are minimally invasive procedures done by our top-rated pain physician, who will ensure that your safety is the primary concern. The goal is to restore motion and function to your nervous system, thereby reducing pain and improving overall health.
Don't Let Pinched Nerves Ruin Your Life!
Hopefully, you've learned from this article where your particular pain might be coming from and how to handle it. It's important to get treatment as soon as possible when you experience a pinched nerve.
The longer you wait, the more likely it is that this condition will get worse and more difficult to treat. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our New York pain management center today for an appointment with one of our specialists.