Many instances of pain come from pressure to a nerve root. Medical experts refer to pinched nerves as radiculopathy, a condition where a constant pressure causes damage to the nerve root. Several spinal conditions can “pinch” the nerve with pressure, such as a torn disc, misaligned disc, herniated disc, bone growth, and facet joint syndrome. While many of these conditions occur due to degeneration from natural aging, a pinched nerve may also occur in younger patients due to external traumatic events like a slip and fall or car accident, or from sudden weight gains like pregnancy.
Four different categories make up radiculopathy: Cervical radiculopathy (located in the chest or arm), lumbar radiculopathy (located around the lower back area), thoracic radiculopathy (middle section of the spine), and sciatica (located around one or both legs from the lower back). Many people commonly associated pinched nerves with uncomfortable or inconvenient instances of back pain.
While nerves can repair themselves when given the appropriate amount of time and rest, sometimes the pain is intense enough that a patient may not be able to fulfill his daily duties. If you believe your leg, neck, or back pain is due to a pinched nerve, a pain expert can diagnose your condition with an initial appointment. Common pain symptoms for pinched nerves include numbness and general weakness within the muscles. If the pressed nerves send strong pain signals, a patient may start feeling a sharp pins and needles sensation in the affected area.
Several treatments are available for patients experiencing one or more pinched nerve. When the pain is not too severe, healthy lifestyle changes like dieting, posture, light exercise, and getting the right amount of sleep may be enough to treat the radiculopathy. With more intrusive symptoms, a patient may need oral treatments like anti-inflammatory medication or external treatments like physical therapy.
Experts in the pain field can help you find the treatment that is best for you. Garden State Pain Center’s doctors carry 50 years of combined medical experience working within many types of pain cases. Contact us today at one of our New Jersey offices to determine if your chronic pain is due to a pinched nerve or a more serious medical condition.