Category: Nerves | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
When you consider that the natural aging process and genetics can increase your risk of developing a pinched spinal nerve, it’s clear that not all pinched nerves can be completely prevented. That said, there are a number of modifiable risk factors that can increase or decrease your likelihood of developing a pinched neck in your neck or back. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at five controllable risk factors for compressed spinal nerves.
Pinched Nerve Risk Factors
Here’s a look at five aspects of your life and your health that can increase your risk of developing a pinched spinal nerve. Conversely, if you focus on improving these aspects, you can reduce your likelihood of dealing with nerve compression in your neck or spine.
- Your Weight – Extra weight will inherently put more stress and strain on your spine and the nearby joints, which will increase the risk of a compressed nerve. Controlling your weight and working to shed just a few pounds can significantly reduce your risk of a pinched spinal nerve.
- Your Posture – If you’re hunched forward or slouched when you’re in a seated position, certain areas of your spine will be forced to handle additional stress. Crossing your legs can also lead to more stress on your lumbar spine. Over time, this added stress can lead to the expedited degeneration of spinal discs. When these discs start to thin, they are more likely to shift out of place and compress a nearby spinal nerve.
- Pregnancy – Healthy pregnancies involve weight gain, and your body will also start to retain more water as the fetus develops, and this will in turn place more strain on your spinal column. This can lead to disc shifting or compressed nerves as a result of spinal inflammation. If you are or plan to become pregnant, strive to improve your spine health, because it will need to be strong to handle the bodily changes you’ll experience over the course of your pregnancy.
- Previous Injuries – While previous spinal injuries may not always be preventable, how you work to recover from these injuries can affect your long-term likelihood of developing a pinched spinal nerve. After an injury, it’s imperative that you are proactive in helping the area heal and regain strength so that it can get back to handling a normal amount of strain. If part of your back remains weaker than the rest because it never fully healed, pinched nerves can develop in this weakened area or in areas of your spine that are handling more stress to account for this deficiency.
- Repetitive Actions – Our movement patterns can also make us more susceptible to pinched nerves. If you work a job that involves repetitive trunk twists, or your favorite hobbies require similar movement patterns for your spine, certain areas of your back can degenerate faster. Being aware of your movement patterns can help you correct posture issues or biomechanical problems that could increase your nerve compression risk.
If you believe you’re dealing with a compressed spinal nerve, or you want to talk to a specialist about a different back problem that you’re dealing with, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and the team at The Midwest Spine & Brain Institute today at (651) 430-3800.