Nerves are what the body uses to pass sensory information to and from the brain, and to control all parts of the body. They are essential to our ability to feel pleasure and pain. Under certain circumstances, nerves can become pinched. Pinched nerves can lead to pain and eventually loss of feeling or control of body parts.
Definition of a Pinched Nerve
Your nerves are bundles of fibers that act as sensory receptors, sending messages to and from your brain to other parts of the body. Nerves begin in the brain and spinal column, and branch out to other areas of the body. Sometimes nerves can become compressed or “pinched.” When this happens, the body will send your brain pain signals that something is wrong.
Causes & Symptoms
Nerves can become pinched for a number of reasons. They can result from repetitive movement, injury, or wear and tear over time. Specifically in the spine, pinched nerves can be caused by a slipped or herniated disc, or spinal bone spurs.
Pinched nerves are most common in areas of the body where the nerves have to pass through narrow passages such as the back, or neck. Symptoms of a pinched nerve can include any of the following:
- Tingling or numbness in the extremities
- A burning sensation that can lead to intense pain
- Muscle spasms
Diagnosing a Pinched Nerve
In order to properly diagnose a pinched nerve, your physician will first administer a physical examination and ask you about your symptoms and medical history. Further imaging tests (like an MRI or CT scan) may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
Pinched Spinal Nerve Treatment
Depending on what particular nerves are being pinched and where they are in the body, treatment may be accomplished with conservative measures, like:
- Rest & refraining from high impact activities
- Physical therapy exercises
- Steroid injections
These methods sometimes fail to relieve pain in the long run. If your symptoms persist after trying non-surgical treatments, it is time to look into surgery. In many cases, pinched nerves in the back and neck can be effectively treated by minimally invasive surgery to release the affected nerves. This procedure is highly effective, and can be done in less than an hour.
Expert Spine Surgeon in Edina
Dr. Sinicropi has extensive experience treating pinched nerves with minimally invasive spinal surgery in Edina, MN. Contact him today to set up an examination and determine if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery – 800.234.1826.