More About Your Pinched Nerves
- Posted on: Oct 30 2021
In October’s first blog we discussed some of the basics of pinched/compressed nerves. When pressure is placed on the nerve roots exiting the spinal column, pain can be immediate, or it can develop slowly with continued compression. Over time, if not addressed, compressed nerves can actually die, and the patient can lose function in the muscle served by that nerve.
There’s no reason to let the pain from a pinched nerve linger. Dr. Tinley at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders deals with issues caused by nerve compression every day. He has various methods for treating the compression.
What are the symptoms of a pinched or compressed nerve?
The higher-than-normal pressure being placed on the nerve disrupts the nerve’s function, which can cause the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness in the affected area
- Aching, sharp, or burning pain that radiates to the surrounding areas
- Tingling or pins and needles sensations, usually in the limbs
- Numbness and/or decreased sensation in the area served by the nerve
- Weakness and loss of function
Treatments for pinched nerves
Dr. Tinley uses a variety of treatment options for relieving nerve compression. In every case other than emergency trauma, the first options are always conservative treatments. Treatment options include:
- Physical therapy — This involves the performance of specific therapeutic exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles that support nerve function. When strengthened, the muscles that surround the area where compression is occurring create the support that has been lacking. This decreases the compression.
- Medication — The goal of medication for compression is to reduce inflammation. This may be achieved with the use of non-prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, or it may require corticosteroid injections into the area of compression to directly reduce inflammation.
- Surgery — If conservative treatments aren’t improving the patient’s pain, surgery may be necessary to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This can involve removing part of the lamina on the back of the vertebra (laminectomy). It could involve removing bone spurs from the foramen (foraminotomy). It could involve removing part or all of a bulging or herniated spinal disc (microdiscectomy). Or it could involve removing all of the disc and fusing the two adjacent vertebrae together (spinal fusion).
If you have chronic pain, it’s likely due to a long-term pinched/compressed nerve. Call Dr. Tinley at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685, and let’s see what’s going on.