Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: July 16, 2018
Your spine is comprised of 31 pairs of spinal nerves, each helping to perform critical functions. Damage or compression of a spinal nerve can severely inhibit normal activities, and active treatment is recommended. But how do you know if you’re dealing with a spinal nerve issue? Below, we take a closer look at five common signs of a spinal nerve problem.
Numbness is one of the most common signs of spinal nerve compression or a pinched nerve. The lack of sensation comes from the nerve’s inability to clearly rely signals up and down the central nervous system. It is one of the less problematic symptoms in the sense that the lack of sensation isn’t all that bothersome, but it still warrants a visit to a spine specialist.
Pain is the most common symptom in the body when there is a problem somewhere, but oftentimes it stays contained to the affected area. With nerve impingement or damage, that’s not always the case. If certain spinal nerves become compressed, it will send shooting pain sensations down your leg or across your arm.
Compression of nerves in your lumbar spine can affect the way you walk, either from inhibiting normal range of motion of the hip joint to causing you to walk in a different manner to avoid irritating the nerve. If you’re walking with a limp or an irregular gait, and you didn’t just sprain your ankle, there’s a decent chance that the underlying problem lies in your spine.
Damage or compression of spinal nerves can also relay faulty messages to your brain about what’s going on with your bladder. This can cause you to think you need to go to the bathroom more than you do, or it can prevent you from realizing when you need to go. If you’re noticing bladder control issues, have your doctor take a look at your spinal nerves.
Brief, Intense Headaches
A lot of the nerve symptoms we’ve highlighted tend to occur in the lumbar or thoracic portion of our spines, but headaches are a symptom that can occur if nerves in the cervical region become impinged or damaged. This condition is known as occipital neuralgia, and it can cause brief headaches that at their worst can resemble an electrical shock. If you’re experiencing headaches like this, consult a cervical spine specialist.